I broke 5th metatarsal and now can't lift little toe. What should I do?

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I broke my 5th metatarsal in a fall down some stairs 3 months ago.  I could move all my toes fine during the healing process.  About a month ago my foot flared up, was more swollen, and became more painful.  Now I can't lift the little toe at all.  The other three toes lift but only slightly.  Still very painful to walk.  I saw the doc last week and he said give it more time to heal, but I think if the toes were moving before and now stopped that means something is not healing the way it should.  Has anyone had this issue and what did you do about it?  Thanks in advance.

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  • Posted

    I see you posted this 8 days ago and maybe things have changed but to maybe help with your current position, I broke 4 metatarsals (including 5th) over 5 months ago and still get swellings all over my foot and ankle.  My toes hurt when I lift them, they kind of feel stiff and the 4th & 5th toe definitely don't lift as easily as 1, 2 & 3.  Because of the length of time, I've had plenty of episodes of 'something's not right' but I try to judge by the week rather than by the day that all's improving......and it is.  I still limp a little and walking down the stairs in a normal fashion is difficult but I make myself do it to stop the ligaments, tendons and other tissues getting stiff and they do if I don't walk much during even 1 day.  If your doctor's not worried, then I reckon you just have to gently keep pushing on.  I found that using exercise bands on my toes (while sitting) helped plus a cold gel pack wrapped around my foot as often as possible also seemed useful.  Good luck and I hope you heal soon! smile

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the info.  You've been dealing with it for a long time.  Hope it's better soon.  I guess it concerns me because the doctor just said he doesn't know.  Didn't really offer any help.  The toe lifted until about 9 weeks post-fracture.  Now it isn't a matter of pain, it's just that it doesn't lift, as if it's not connected.  I also have a burning pain in top of my foot, which I think may be nerve pain, so that makes me wonder if I have nerve damage is why it won't lift.  It just doesn't make sense to me that the toe movement was fine for two months and then changed. 

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  • Posted

    I see what you mean about the sudden change from toes moving to not moving.  I notice that originally you said 'still very painful to walk' and now 'it isn't a matter of pain'.  Does that mean that there's some improvement with the pain?  That has to be good if so.  I still have clicks and tenderness in my ankle and across the top of my foot sometimes...depends how much walking I've done but when I first started to walk these problems weren't so obvious.  These 'tissues' are definitely taking their time to repair and maybe yours will too.  I know that my 5th metatarsal break was just below the neck (like the others were) and perhaps yours was in a different place so is mending differently due the positioning?  I'm trying to make you positive here but have no real medical knowledge!  I do know the body works in mysterious ways and differently for each person.  I think a quick x-ray (if you can get one quickly where you live) will help put your mind at rest if you're still worried.  Sorry I can't be more exact about your problem! 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the encouragement.  Much more than I've gotten from the docs.  I did have another x-ray.  Told me the bone is healed, so much be tissues.  Went for a second opinion and was told to stay off it as much as possible for the next 6 to 8 weeks.  That perhaps is the reason for having less pain.  I did have to be on my foot a bit yesterday, which increased the pain and swelling somewhat.  I am not overly worried at this point, but am concerned if there's nerve damage that it will increase without intervention.  However, both doctors wanted to take a wait and see approach.  I do hope that you continue to improve and do so rapidly.  You've had a much longer journey than I have at this point.  And I'm okay with waiting for mine to heal, as long as it doesn't get any worse. 

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