Assessment of Foot Injuries

If the mechanism of injury (e.g. a road crash) suggests that there may be other injuries, it is important to complete a full assessment to exclude other injuries. Otherwise, the assessment of a foot injury is the same as the assessment of any other trauma:


The mechanism of injury is of vital importance and may give valuable clues as to the diagnosis. Examples are:

  • An inversion injury of the ankle may cause an ankle injury but may also cause a fracture at the base of the 5th MT
  • Dropping a weight onto the foot may cause a fracture but is unlikely to cause a dislocation whereas a stubbed toe may cause either a fracture or a dislocation
  • With major forces, one should expect serious injuries and some of these may be subtle on x-ray
  • The past history may be significant and, in particular, diabetic neuropathy may predispose to a neuropathic arthropathy


This will consist of:

  • Look – for deformity, bruising, swelling scars etc.
  • Feel – for deformity, point of maximum tenderness
  • Move – examine for movement at all the joints – subtalar, midtarsal, toes
  • Function – can the patient walk? Examine their gait
  • Test for neurovascular function
  • Examine the ankle

X-rays and other investigations

If required.


Post a comment

Leave a Comment