What is Fifth Metatarsal Pain/Fractures?
Fractures of the fifth metatarsal are also known as Jones or avulsive fractures. They occur at the base of the fifth metatarsal bone, which is the part of the bone that protrudes on the outside of the middle of your foot. You may also experience pain in this area without the presence of a fracture and this is known as a stress reaction. Stress reactions are often a precursor to a stress fracture.
Causes of Fifth Metatarsal Pain/Fractures?
The fracture can be caused by acute trauma, usually a twisting inwards motion of the foot and ankle. It can also occur through overuse and repetitive stress to the area. People with supinated (roll out) and high arch feet tend to more exposure to these types of fractures due to the extra forces experienced by the outside structures of the foot.
Signs and Symptoms Fifth Metatarsal Pain/Fractures?
- Severe pain while walking and even a complete inability to walk.
Due to the limited blood supply to this area of the foot, an injury such as a Jones fracture can take a long time to heal and may progress to require surgery. Therefore it is necessary to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
- Immobilisation using a boot for a period of six to eight weeks is typically part of the treatment process. Healing is monitored with pre- and post-diagnostic imaging.
- Rehabilitation after the immobilisation period will be utilised to make sure you are able to return to normal activities.
- AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. During Rehabilitation, continuation of training on the AlterG to decrease the load on the foot and its surrounding muscles whilst maintaining an exercise program.
- Footwear and orthotic therapy can also help in reducing the risk of reoccurrence via offloading the area and redistributing forces throughout the rest of the foot.
Anti-inflammatories are not normally recommended for this injury because they affect the healing process in bones, however, other pain relief may be advised by your GP.
Surgery for Fifth Metatarsal Pain/Fractures?
In cases where conservative treatment does not provide adequate healing, surgical interventions may be indicated.