5th metatarsal displaced spiral fracture

Posted , 8 users are following.

I'm after any kind of advice!!

Displaced 5th metatarsal spiral stating just under little toe joint going downwards. Dr confident it would heal without surgery as minimally displaced. Spent 4 weeks in a cast - Dr said to partial weight bare through heel however I wasn't confident in doing this so I kept it non weight baring.

Had X-ray Tuesday and seen a different Dr who said X-ray shown no healing yet however he took cast off had a poke and prode. As I didn't feel much pain he put me in a fixed boot and told me to weight bare through the heel and gradually build up to full weight bare in 2/3 weeks and to return in 4 weeks time.

I was initially made up to have the fixed boot as I can have a proper bath! And remove the boot to do little ankle movements (as directed by the nurse). But my foot is starting to hurt where the break is now and I'm scared I'm causing more damage? Surely if it's not showing any signs of healing on the X-ray it won't be ready to take any weight baring? Or am I just being overly cautious?

I'm considering paying to go private for a second opinion but obviously don't want to pay money of I'm just being daft?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I'm due to go abroad on holiday in 5 weeks and I've just been offered a new job so a speedy recovery is the main aim - if this includes pain I'll put up with it but not if I'm causing more damage.

Thanks

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I have posted a bit on this forum as I too have a broken and dispaced (slightly) spiral mid shaft fracture of fifth metatarsal.  Not sure where you are from (USA?) but in my local hospital they didn't treat with a cast, OR a boot.  Not sure if that was the right thing or not, cos it still hadn't healed by April (done just before Xmas) despite being on crutches and resting. I too worried about every pain and movement and since have talked about whether I affected the non healing of my foot but my consultant assures me I did nothing wrong and have just been unlucky..I don't smoke and am , or was, fit and healthy.  You need to weight bare a little (look up Wolff's Law)

    HOWEVER, in April was referred to a new foot and ankle consultant (new, cos I had kicked up a fuss about having a bone stimulator, which my former consultatant hadn't heard off..well he wouldn't cos it turns out he is a SPINAL specialist...go figure) who decided to pin and plate as no sign of fracture healing.  X rayed me again at my pre op at beginning of June...and there appears to be signs of healing!!!  Only taken five months, so op was put off, new x rays next week to ensure healing continuing , fingers crossed.

    So don't lose heart, and I hope you heal quicker than me...which no doubt you will cos I think , as my consultant says, I was the unlucky few percent of people who don't.  It is a nasty fracture to mend but plenty of people do mend with no problem.

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    • Posted

      Hi Emma,

      Thanks for your reply 😀 I'm from the UK. I'm gonna look up wolf's law now and see if it will put my mind at rest a bit.

      So did you walk on yours from the beginning? Or non weight bare? How was the pain? Our fractures sound similar - I've tried to put a pic up but no idea how to do it as I post from my phone.

      I can live with the boot, crutches anything so long as I get to walk and go back to work etc even if I have to wear it for months! I'm hoping I see foot specialists when I'm at hospital - my original Dr was on holiday for my last appointment so just hoping the Dr I seen knew what he was on about!!

      Thanks

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  • Posted

    May help too.  X rays only show hard dense bone so your fracture will be healing before it shows healing on an x ray.  I took calcium tablets and vit D twice a day and avoided ibuprofen (interfers with bone healing)

    Good luck, I hope you heal quickly

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  • Posted

    Hi, if you google broken bones and how they mend you should get the info. Briefly, bones heal with soft callus at first, which, and I may be incorrect, I was told doesn't show on x rays, only dense hard bone shows up.

     

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  • Posted

    Spiral fractures of the fifth metatarsal almost inevitably heal. But injuries to bone take many weeks, if not months, to heal. However the fibrous tissue (although not visible on X-ray) relatively rapidly holds the fragments firmly.

    My views on boots and casts have been expressed on this site.

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  • Posted

    My experiences sound very similar blueshell. I am currently nearing the end of my. 4th week. I was in a cast for 10 days then an air cast boot and crutches. I am currently using one crutch. I find I have no pain at all when I am wearing the boot but slight pain without it. I'm due to start a new job tomorrow but I am a bit worried that I may do further damage. The doc was not very helpful at all and didn't provide any advice. I asked if I could drive after 10 days and he said I could, just to take the boot off. I intend to drive to work tomorrow. It's about 10 min. I don't want to cause further damage but I feel I have had little advice and info from the hospital. Any advice welcomed . Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I am new to this forum. I
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  • Posted

    Hi All, I have a spiral fracture of the shaft of the 5th metatarsal, which happened when someone landed on my foot on the dancefloor, back in mid-March. I am a 44 year old, relatively fit and active woman. I was in a leg splint for the 1st week, to allow the swelling to go down. Then the plan was to put me in a plaster cast to the knee for 6 weeks, which was a major source of stress for me, as I live in Dar es Salaam and it is very hot and humid, so sweating into a cast for 6 weeks without being able to wash was not going to be fun. Luckily, a friend had an air cast/boot she was able to lend to me and the doctors said I could use that. I saw an orthopedic surgeon after week 1, who said I should remove the boot whenever possible and move the ankle around, as long as it doesn't hurt. He even said to put some weight on it if it was comfortable to do so. However everything I have read said no weight bearing for at least 6 weeks, so I didn't dare do so for the first several weeks. By week 4, I started to put the foot down once in a while, but still supported most of my weight with the crutches. I am now at 6 weeks, and have started walking a bit without crutches (ok, I did this for the first time last night). The trouble is, it doesn't always hurt right away, but will hurt and swell up afterwards, so it is very hard to know if I am overdoing it or not. I have been working the whole time, only taking a few days off at the beginning to rest and keep the foot elevated. I have (moslty) a desk job, so am able to remove the boot and put the foot up on an exercise ball when at my desk. However, I find that the foot is often swollen when I get home from work and I spend my weekends on the couch with the foot up. 

    My question is, when should I go back for x-rays? It sounds like the x-rays don't show much progress until much later. Also, how do I know if I am overdoing it by bearing weight and walking without the crutches? Like Blueshell, I can handle the pain (which isn't much, actually), but I just don't want to do more damage.

    Thanks

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