Non-union spiral fracture 5th metatarsal

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I fractured my fifth metatarsal. It is a slightly displaced spiral fracture of the shaft. I broke it 6/22 and was in a non weight bearing boot until 8/15 then I started walking on it. I was very busy taking care of five young kids, touring houses to buy then ultimately packed up house and unpacked house. I was experiencing pain with walking and tried to add a shoe instead of a boot on 8/22. It was painful and I couldn't put pressure on it. If I did it was a sharp pain where it was broken. I went to see a new doctor and she took and x-ray and it showed non-union. She put me in a boot and ordered a CT scan. The CT scan showed 25% healing. Here is I almost 3 months out and miserable. She is ordering a bone stimulator and I should get it in the next two weeks. She hopes that helps and if not surgery. I have five young kids to take care of and being back on a knew scooter and crutches is really hard. Did anyone else have non-union? If so did it heal with a bone stimulator? If not how was surgery? I am in the US I hate the idea of anesthesia. I have had several procedures without anesthesia or pain medication because I do not like it. I asked if she could do an ankle nerve block and no sedation. She said probably not I would have to talk to anesthesiologist. Also she said basically bedrest for a week post op. I wasn't on bedrest after cesareans or while pregnant with triplets. Bedrest is something that is not feasible with five young kids. Experiences, ideas?  Thanks!

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  • Posted

    I had a spiral displaced fractured almost a year ago. I had surgery 5 days after the accident. Bedrest for me was really only about 2 days, if even that much, but NWB for 5 weeks afterwards and for the first two weeks or so until the stiches heal you can't get it wet. I have one young child and 4 backyard hens, so I needed to be back on my feet in a hurry and a knee scooter is great but doesn't work well in a backyard farm! It's is not going to be easy no matter what. It just takes time. I'm curious to know how the bone stimulator works. 

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  • Posted

    I am so sorry for you!! I can not imagine 5 children, packing and moving in. I will tell you that I am 67 but a horse rider, own a farm, etc. and had a non displaced Jones fracture. (Same) I tried non weight bearing for 4 weeks then went for X Ray where my ortho told me it had only healed 50 to 60% and I would be another 6 weeks non weight bearing. She told me surgery would nip it so had surgery 6 weeks ago. Absolutely no pain. Surgery took 45 min. She did a 36 hour block so when that wore off I had absolutely no pain. So angry I wasted the first 4 weeks!! Go for surgery!! Yes, you will be non weight bearing another 4 weeks then in boot. These fractures have a low blood supply so are a nightmare to heal. Doc also got me a bone stimulator which absolutely help!! I am a retired X ray tech, husband a Radiologist and I will tell you that with only 25% healing, you need surgery! Go For anesthesia as well!! You will be fine!! Good luck, I feel for you and do let us know!!
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  • Posted


    Four weeks ago I had surgery to repair my 2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsals in my left foot. I hate to tell you this but I've had to stay in bed with my foot elevated above my heart the entire time. I'm still in a cast and have two pins (which will hopefully come out on the 20th) and a screw that will stay. I wished I could tell you it will be all better as soon as you have surgery, unfortunately that has not been my experience. As far as the anesthesia, I can't imagine having this surgery with only a nerve block. I was under general anesthesia and had a nerve block. The block was wonderful! It last about 36 hours.

    I'm sorry you're having so many problems and may be facing surgery. I would say you should start lining up friends and family to come help you. You'll need them!

    Good luck,

    What a Pain

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  • Posted

    Hi Kari,

    I am in the same boat as you were with CT showing minimal healing at 11 weeks. Wondering whether you chose surgery or if the bone stimulator helped? 

    Are you back to normal now? 

    I can actually walk OK on my foot, but xrays & CT show no bony healing sad 


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  • Posted

    Kari what did you end up doing

    ? Did it work?

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