What is a Fifth Metatarsal Fracture?
The fifth metatarsal is a long tubular bone that connects the midfoot to the fifth toe. There are two general types of fractures that affect the fifth metatarsal: avulsion and jones fractures. An avulsion fracture can occur as a tendon or ligament pulls resulting in a small portion of the bone breaking off. A jones fracture occurs in the shaft of the bone wear the blood supply is not as rich. As a result, this type of fracture can be notoriously difficult to heal.
Causes and Symptoms
Symptoms may include tenderness, difficulty walking, swelling, and bruising.
- RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression such as an ACE wrap, elevation to help with swelling
- Cast immobilization (very important so fracture pieces do not move further)
- Xrays- your foot and ankle surgeon will monitor for bony healing
In the event that the break does not respond to non-surgical therapy, surgery is often needed.
- Displaced bony fragments
- Evidence of non-healing
- Plates and/or screws, bone stimulator, period of immobilization until bone healing achieved
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