5 metatarsal break-didn't take Dr's suggestion

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I'm hoping I made the right decision. I broke my 5th metatarsal 1 week ago. My dr put me in a cast splint until the swelling went down then said I needed a fiberglass cast. 

I did really well staying off of my foot while it was in the cast splint but it drove me crazy that I couldn't take it off. It was so sweaty and  I just knew I'd lose my mind if I had to do that for 5 more weeks.

After researching on line, I realized I could use an air cast to keep my foot immobilized. My doctor didn't like this idea even though I would not be walking on it. She basically said that if she didn't cast me, I would walk on it and it wouldn't heal. I want it to heal of course so I won't be walking on it. I just need to "air out" occasionally . I'm sleeping in the aircast and I even have a second air cast that I will use in the shower.  

  Now I'm worried - could there possibly be another reason to have a fiberglass cast? 

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  • Posted

    A fibreglass cast keeps things much more immobile and stable than an air cast. The reason for a traditional cast could be related to the type of break you have. Coming from someone who had a horrible 5th metatarsal non-Union experience which required 2 surgeries, I would recommend you follow her advice.
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    • Posted

      My doctor told me the same thing when my mom asked about the use of plaster of Paris. The fiberglass will help you to heal in the proper way so you avoid complications.
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  • Posted

    Hello i am 16 days into my 5th metatarsal i spent 14 days in a cast . It was hell . But i am in an air boot walking unaided. The Consultant said go with your own pace and do not wear it sleeping let it breath . Its painful , i am very protective of it . But the Consultant also said it will heal whatever you do . I also have had to go to work everyday . But i am happy very happy with my healing .
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  • Posted

    If the doctor knows what the issue is, there's a specific way for it to be solved. They went to school for this, so they really do know best. Maybe you can work out a deal where you wear the fiberglass for the 1st half of the recommended time and switch to the air cast afterwards? To be honest, it'd be better to be sweaty and itchy for a month or so than have lifelong complications from incorrect treatment. The cast sucks, but so would permanent for pain. Go for the fiberglass, at least for a while. Good luck making a decision!
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  • Posted

    I certainly hope for your sake that you did make the right decision.  I guess only time will tell.  I had a 5th metatarsal break in late Feb of this year.  I do not know what a "cast splint" or an "air cast" is but when I went to the ER I was given what I called a low boot and "thought" it worked out just fine because after the first few days of pain I was walking in the boot just fine.  I let my foot "air out" at night without the boot and did walk on my foot without the boot without pain when I would get up in the middle of the night.  When I went for an appointment with an Orthopedist 1 week after the fracture I even walked bare footed without pain for my FU xray.  The Doc told me the low boot was not at all appropriate and I ended up in a fiberglass cast for 4 weeks.  Not just any old fiberglass cast but a non-weight bearing cast.  I was not happy!  At least I was not on crutches but got a knee scooter which made getting around kinda fun as long as there were no steps.  I had trouble the first night or two sleeping with the cast because it felt very rough on my other leg and foot, but it didn't feel sweaty or hot because of the interior lining.  I did hate showering because I was determined not to put 1 oz of weight on that foot so it would heal ASAP.  Duck taping a plastic trash bag over the cast was fun....right.  Getting into, showering, and out again with out using my right foot was a challenge and I used a combo of a walker and shower stool.  You can also forget modesty.  I did not know what to expect when I returned to the Ortho doc 4 weeks later because he sure surprised me, and not in a good way, on the first visit.  I hoped to get back into the boot which I traded with the manufacturer for a high one that came up to my knee.  I was told by the nurse that I was to have an xray and be put back into a weight bearing cast so I could walk in it.  Again I was not happy so when the doc came in with the xray I wanted to see the old and the new and be told exactly how I was doing because I had been the "perfect" patient with NWB.  He said and showed me on the xray that I was doing very well :-).............Then I handed him my new high boot and told him about the swap I made to what HE wanted.  I said I had no idea that his plan was to put me back into another cast.  Bottom line, he changed his mind and didn't put me in the cast but allowed in to use the high boot for another 3 weeks.  He did say that he wanted me to sleep grr in the high boot so that I would not be tempted to walk on my foot in the middle of the night.  Well, I didn't not take my doctors suggestion but I feel that I did work with him on a compromise to get out of being in a cast for an additional 4 weeks.  Bottom line, in my opinion, is that it very important to keep any weight at all off of your foot for the first period of time and work with a doctor that you are comfortable with discussing options.  Best of luck and let us all know how things are working out for you.
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