A metatarsal fracture involves damage to one of the 5 elongated metatarsal bones in the foot. In most cases, the injury is brought about by trauma or direct impact.
The metatarsals are the elongated bones in the forefoot. A metatarsal fracture can be either an acute or a stress fracture. When it comes to a stress fracture, it generally causes a gradual onset of discomfort due to overuse.
An acute fracture is brought about by a direct impact or strike where the foot is trampled during football or other similar sports. In some cases, abrupt turning motion or violent twisting at the ankle can result to a fracture in the 5th metatarsal.
What are the signs?
The indications of a metatarsal fracture include acute and intense foot pain at the time of the injury. In most cases, there is rapid swelling and the individual could not bear any weight.
In addition, there is evident deformity in the foot along with bruising that might manifest within 24 hours.
Management of a metatarsal fracture
A doctor must be consulted right away, and an X-ray of the foot is taken to confirm the presence of a fracture and its type. In case the bones are not displaced, a short cast or boot might be fitted for up to 3 weeks. After 6 weeks, another X-ray of the foot is taken to ensure that it has healed.
For complex or displaced fractures, surgical fixation is necessary. For a Jones fracture, it requires 6-8 weeks of non-weight bearing immobilization. When the cast is removed, a rehabilitation program is started to restore full strength and mobility.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on a metatarsal fracture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Ottawa First Aid.