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Foot Fractures

Severe consequences of a foot fracture can include chronic pain, permanent deformity, and arthritis due to improper healing or damage to the joint. Complications may also involve nerve or blood vessel injury, leading to numbness or circulation problems. Infections, especially after surgical intervention, and non-union or malunion of the fractured bones, where the bones do not heal correctly, can further complicate recovery. Severe fractures may significantly impair mobility, necessitating prolonged rehabilitation or even leading to long-term disability.

Foot fracture X-ray

Helpful Information

A foot fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in the foot, often caused by trauma, overuse, or underlying conditions like osteoporosis. Symptoms typically include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking. Depending on the severity and location of the fracture, treatment can range from rest and immobilisation with a cast or brace to surgical intervention. Proper diagnosis, usually involving X-rays or other imaging techniques, is essential for effective treatment and recovery. Sometimes the cause of a foot fracture can be directly attributed to negligent or wrongful behaviour by an employer, a member of the public, or someone with a duty of care. In these circumstances, it may be possible to bring an injury compensation claim.

What are the most common types of foot fractures?

Common fractures occuring in the foot include:

  • Stress Fractures – Small cracks in the bone caused by repetitive force or overuse.
  • Avulsion Fractures – These occur when a small piece of bone is pulled off by a tendon or ligament.
  • Jones Fractures – A specific type of fracture in the fifth metatarsal, near the base of the foot.
  • Lisfranc Fractures – This involves the midfoot and can affect the alignment of the bones.
  • Toe Fractures – This involves any of the toe bones and can range from minor to severe.
  • Heel (Calcaneus) Fractures – These often result from high-impact trauma like a fall from a height.

What are the most common causes of these types of fractures?

The most common causes of foot fractures include trauma from falls, car accidents, or sports injuries, which can result in stress, avulsion, Jones, Lisfranc, toe, and heel fractures. Overuse and repetitive activities, especially in high-impact sports or running, frequently cause stress fractures. Sudden twisting or direct blows can lead to avulsion fractures, while missteps or heavy impact often cause Jones and Lisfranc fractures. Toe fractures typically result from stubbing or dropping heavy objects on the foot, and heel fractures are usually due to falls from significant heights or severe forceful impacts.

Can workplace negligence cause these types of injuries?

Yes. Insufficient safety measures, inadequate training, and lack of proper protective equipment can lead to accidents like falls, heavy objects dropping on feet, or machinery-related injuries. Poorly maintained work environments, such as slippery floors or cluttered walkways, increase the risk of slips, trips, and falls, contributing to fractures. Failure to enforce safety protocols and provide necessary gear like steel-toed boots also heightens the likelihood of foot injuries.

What other negligent behaviour can cause foot fractures?

Negligence or wrongful behaviour is often the case in car accidents caused by reckless or impaired driving, poorly maintained public spaces like uneven pavements or staircases, and unsafe conditions in recreational areas. Negligence in product manufacturing, such as faulty sports equipment or defective footwear, can contribute to injuries. Additionally, failing to adhere to safety standards in construction zones or industrial sites, such as not securing heavy objects or improper use of machinery, can result in foot fractures.

What evidence is required to bring a compensation claim?

To bring a successful claim, it’s necessary to provide medical records detailing the injury, treatment, and prognosis. Photographs of the injury and accident scene, witness statements, and incident reports help establish circumstances. Documentation of lost wages and impact on daily life supports claims for economic and non-economic damages. Expert testimony may be needed to link the injury to the incident and prove negligence or fault. Evidence of safety violations, maintenance logs, and product defects can also strengthen the case.

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Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

Email: flor@mccarthy.ie
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wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

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is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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