5th Metatarsal Fractures
5th metatarsal fractures are quite common
Our Cypress orthopedist knows that 5th metatarsal fractures are among the most common fractures in the foot. The 5th metatarsal bone runs along the outside border of the foot from the midfoot to the base of the 5th toe. It can be injured in a number of ways, including twisting injuries, direct impact and repetitive trauma.
Understanding the 5th metatarsal base fracture
The most common 5th metatarsal fracture is a 5th metatarsal base fracture. A tendon attaches to the base of the 5th metatarsal. When the foot and ankle are twisted, as occurs frequently with ankle sprains, this tendon can pull off a portion of the 5th metatarsal, resulting in what is called a 5th metatarsal base avulsion fracture.
5th metatarsal fractures of this type typically require a period of immobilization in a cast or a boot, without any weight-bearing restrictions. Patients generally recover without any long-term effects and return to most activities eight to 12 weeks after the injury.
A look at the 5th metatarsal Jones fracture
A Jones fracture occurs approximately 1/3rd of the way down the 5th metatarsal, at what is termed the metaphyseal-diaphyseal junction. This area of the bone has a limited blood supply, so it is prone to poor or delayed healing.
Jones fractures may occur due to a discrete injury or from repetitive trauma, as is the case with stress fractures. Patients often present with acute-on-chronic Jones fractures, in which a lingering stress fracture is acutely injured to create a complete Jones fracture.
Because these fractures recur or fail to heal, our Cypress orthopedist treats these 5th metatarsal fractures with a cast and a period of non-weight-bearing, or with surgical placement of a screw within the 5th metatarsal. Surgery reduces the risk of the fracture recurring, but patients are still required to remain non-weight-bearing for a period of time.
Other 5th metatarsal fractures
Fractures may occur along the entire length of the 5th metatarsal. Fractures to the shaft of the 5th metatarsal may be due to a twisting injury or direct trauma. Depending on the degree of displacement, these fractures may be treated conservatively with a cast or a boot, or they may require surgical repair with screws and/or wires.
5th metatarsal neck fractures are often due to direct trauma to the top of the foot. Non-displaced fractures may require little more than immobilization in a stiff-soled shoe for several weeks. However, displaced 5th metatarsal neck fractures or unstable fracture patterns may require surgical fixation with a wire.
Contact our Cypress orthopedist to schedule an appointment and learn more about how diagnosis and treatment of 5th metatarsal fractures can get you moving again.
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