Fifth Metatarsal Fracture

San Francisco Podiatrist - Fifth Metatarsal Fracture

The fifth metatarsal is the long bone on the outer edge of the foot, located between the heel and the smallest toe. This bone is susceptible to two kinds of fractures. Avulsion fractures are small pieces of bone that have chipped off during an injury. Jones fractures are less common and found in only one small part of the fifth metatarsal. They are characterized by either a stress fracture developed over time due to overuse, or an acute break from a single incident. Fractures can occur anywhere along the metatarsal. Signs of fracture include bruising, pain, swelling and difficulty walking.

A visit with a physician is necessary to determine degree of damage and the appropriate treatment plan. Until that consultation can take place, use the R.I.C.E. method. Rest, ice – not resting directly on the skin, compression with an elastic bandage and elevation at or above hip level. Fracture treatments may involve immobilization with splints, casts or orthotic supports. Surgery may also be needed if the injury caused misalignment or multiple breaks. A Jones fracture can be treated with either of those approaches, but may also require a bone stimulation device used on the outside of the foot.