Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Did I sprain my foot?"
I tripped going up the steps to my house and landed awkwardly on my foot. Now the top portion of my foot really hurts. Is this just a sprain? Is there any way to know if it is broken other than getting an x-ray?
I am sorry to hear that you had this injury! I think you are right that this is probably a sprain. Sprains are basically injuries to the ligaments between bones, either stretching or outright tearing, depending on the severity. With a sprain there will typically be quite a bit of pain and swelling, and this will tend to get better very slowly, usually requiring weeks to months to clear up entirely, especially if it is a bad sprain. I suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor for evaluation. They will be able to help determine if this is a sprain and, if so, how bad it is. Sometimes, more severe sprains benefit from bracing or crutches or referral to an orthopedic doctor for further treatment. Additionally, your doctor will be able to make recommendations about what medications you should take to relieve the pain and swelling. Finally, while examining the foot, they will be able to determine if there are any signs of a potential broken bone. Although this is unlikely, if there is any tenderness over a particular bone in the foot, they will probably want to get an x-ray of the foot to rule this out.
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