Fractured 2 bone Mid foot - Boot 1st or have surgery

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I thought I sprained the top of my foot a month ago after my foot rolled walking over some stones. Ironically I saw my primary doctor a few days later for my yearly check-up & I had her check my foot & I suggested an x-ray since I was there. No x-ray taken & said it was a sprain. I continued to ice it down & lay low & it got better until I walked about a mile or did a lot of standing it got worse. I then went to a Podiatrist & had an x-ray. The doctor said I fractured 2 bones mid foot side and gave me 2 options. Try the boot for a month to see if it mends the bones or have surgery. I chose to wear the boot & now after a week of wearing it I'm thinking of having the surgery sooner because I'll have lost those 3 weeks if the boot doesn't mend the bones. My question is what is the success rate of the wearing the boot first for 4 weeks without the surgery?  Thanks! 

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  • Posted

    I recently broke my 5th metatarsal.  Was 2 weeks in a cast (non-weight bearing) then in a boot.  Seems to be healing well without surgery.

    The only problem with surgery is that you will not be able to put any weight on your foot for a a couple of weeks after the surgery - which means that you won't be able to do much.  At least with the boot, you can get around, albeit a bit awkwardly.

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  • Posted

    I guess it may depend on how bad the break is/whether it's displaced or not. I fractured the base of my 5th metatarsal on 31 July. It was displaced. I was in a cast for 6 weeks then placed in a removable boot. The last X-ray at 6 weeks showed minimal improvement - the bone is not knitting together. However they said they can't operate now at this stage. Apparently it either has to be operated on within the first week then they can't then until at least 3-4 months in. Something to do with bone formation during this time making it a bad idea to operate. So 8 weeks in I still can't walk or even weight bear. Have started Physio but am still facing surgery if the bone has knitted together within the next 4 weeks. I've heard the recovery time from surgery can be 3 months so at this rate it'll be 6 months in total before I'm walking again and I am fed up! I wasn't offered surgery when I first did this and it's only since reading afterwards that I learnt that the type of fracture I had should have been pinned. If I could turn back the clock I would have preferred to get the surgery over and done with as I feel like it's just added another 3 months to my recovery time. Speak to your consultant and if there's any chance that could happen to you then it may be worth considering having the operation. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I appreciate you sharing your foot fracture experience. I have a fifth metatarsal fracture 2-3 mm of displacement plantarly and laterally. I hope things eventually turn out good for you with a lot of patience! Thanks!
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  • Posted

    Ignore Jo Penny's uneducated comment. Do not let impatience or frustration push you into an illusionary "Quick Fix". Surgery will not speed the natural healing time, which for bones is always weeks or months, not days or weeks.

    Surgery itself, even when expertly performed, must invariably cause additional damage - even if things go as expected. Let us not even consider the effects of a general anaesthetic (you are unlikely to be offered a "regional block" which is ideal), which often permanently effects memory and may take months to completely restore you to normal. Heaven forbid that you get a surgical infection (resistant bacteria are now common in hospitals), or a deep vein thrombosis.

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    • Posted

      Whilst my opinion (and I intend it to be precisely that, opinion not fact) is unqualified, it is not uneducated. Whilst my foot may not work at the moment my brain still functions and I have plenty of time to read up and educate myself on my particular type of fracture! Furthermore I do not see surgery as a "quick fix" that I seeking due to "frustration and impatience". However when weighing up my particular situation and my mental and physical well-being anything to reduce my total recovery time at this stage is critical. Having spent pretty much an entire year in daily and constant pain now, having endured 8 hours worth of surgery in the early part of the year for an unrelated issue and having had enough of the physical limitations I have had to endure this year, both my energetic dog and I are both looking forward to the day when once again I can achieve our daily 10k walks! Adding to the that it the fact that my pain may never go away having lived with pain for a year now due to other health issues (none of which were my making or within my control) which

      required extensive surgery. Neural pathways change when people experience long term pain meaning it is entirely possibly that my pain will remain long after I am fully healed. Whilst I do not relish the idea of further surgery I fear this less than the thought of remaining in pain and with limited mobility indefinitely! And finally I speak only of my own personal circumstances and recommend that anyone with health issues (including the person I responded to on this forum) speak to a qualified health practitioner for treatment recommendations.

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      My dog is also an unfortunate aspect of my injury!! Poor baby regularly went on long extensive walks and trail runs only to be sitting around doing nothing for 2 months! I appreciate you mentioning that here because it truly is important and a part of this whole injury thing is the far reaching affect it has on the rest of our lives, family and friends included.

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    • Posted

      It is appreciated that these type of "orthopaedic" injuries are a great intrusion of pattern of living, and significant sympathy is due to you and others.

      However the widespread belief that these injuries can be rapidly reversed, and the "inconvenience" quickly abolished is misguided.

      There is also often anger at the intrusion that the injury makes into lifestyle, and this seems to be unreasonably directed at health-care workers in many instances.

      What is missing is the capacity of the injured to adapt to these changes, necessitated by their injury. They own the injury and their obligation (to themselves and others) is to adapt to the obligatory convalescence.

      Healthcare workers of experience will have seen the injury many times. Although these health-care workers cannot "reverse" the injury, they do have objective strategies to ensure that the complications are minimalised, and the best possible long term outcome is reached..

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    • Posted

      Yes it is so much more than simply convalescing. Life doesn't stop to wait whilst you do so. My dear husband is now the sole financial provider, cook, cleaner, carer, dog walker & taxi service to and from doctors, consultants and physio appointments as we are somewhat rural and a taxi each time would cost us a fortune! My physio today referred me to a consultant she knows after discussing my case with him. He thinks sadly my foot does need pinning so alas my recovery looks some time off yet. I hope your recovery goes well and you're enjoying long dog walks again very soon.
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  • Posted

    My experience has completely taught me that the individual types of fractures are really important and comparing experiences may lead you the wrong direction. The rest of my body has been thrown into misery by not walking on my right foot. Not being able to drive has been a huge problem. I just saw my podiatrist yesterday and had my foot x-rayed again after 6 weeks of life in the boot, though after 4 weeks I would take the boot off and "walk" on my heal around the house. I did not have a displaced fracture. My fracture is in the area where one typically has an avulsion fracture but I did not pull a piece of bone off which is what an avulsion fracture does when the ankle rolls and you have a ligament that pulls a piece of the bone off. I fractured the same bone in the same area by falling on it after rolling my ankle. My doctor said the area has good blood flow and circulation where other areas of the 5th metatarsal do not. The areas that do not have good circulation will have more difficulty healing. I wasjust  told I can start walking regularly on it now using an ankle brace so I'm protecting it from rolling again. So apparently I've healed well in a total of 7 weeks. I am still having a lot of swelling through out the whole foot, The pain and stifness while walking scares me and I'm going super slow.Your fracture depends on it's location and how much blood flow and circulation the area gets, whether the fracture is displaced or not, the severity of the break and your ability to heal/general health.

    So my summary; 6 weeks post 5th metatarsal non-displaced fracture of the tuberosity has healed enough to walk without boot. Though there is still swelling and pain this is just my first day of fully walking on it. I was told I can return to running in 4 weeks. I'm in my 5th decade. Seems like I had the best case scenario for healing (if I can call any fracture best case) as it was in the "right" area of the bone and nondisplaced.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for the valuable information & sharing your experience. It sounds as though you are near the end of your recovery. And running again soon..that is great. I have a fifth metatarsal fracture 2-3 mm of displacement plantarly and laterally. Your situation gives me hope and I don't think I will rush to have surgery. I'll live with the boot & go from there. Thanks again!
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