OPTIONS FOR NON-UNION 5TH METATARSAL FRACTURE?

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Hoping someone has had a similar experience and might be able to give me some advice!

Over 4 months ago I broke my 5th metatarsal......I went to the local hospital, was told I needed to see the ortho surgeon, waited 5 hours, then sent home with a boot, no instruction and didn't see the ortho.  2 weeks later I had a follow up appointment at the ortho clinic at the hospital with follow up xray.....once again, ortho was busy, didn't look at my foot or xray and popped his head into the room to basically tell me i was ok and to see my own doctor in 4 weeks.  4 weeks later another x-ray, which seemed to show it was healing but had some way to go.  Another 6 weeks in the boot, then x-rayed again yesterday, and that x-ray showed it has now stopped healing and is non-union.

I'm very angry with the hospital as reading what I have above it seems I should have been told not to put weight on it for at least some time.  

This morning my doc is arranging an appointment with a surgeon but I will not let them do surgery as I've had many life threatening drug reactions in the past.  Are there going to be other options for me?

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  • Posted

    WOW!

    I really feel for you. You're right someone should have told you no wt bearing. It's been a long time since the injury, so you need to take charge. Please expand on what your drug reactions are, are they severe or minimal? You need to weigh the risks /rewards, the anesthiologist and you can go over this prior to surgery. There are many different meds that can be used instead of one's which cause a reaction to you. Also, I suggest to look up the surgeon or another one (google, healthgrades etc...) I am so sorry you had to go thru this but, now it's all forward from here on out! Good Luck!

    Mary

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    • Posted

      Thx for your reply.  The drug reactions have been life threatening/serious and I have had those type of reactions to pretty much every drug they have ever tried me on.  My allergist's advice years back was not to take any meds unless it is a life/death situation as the meds could put me in a life/death situation.  So surgery is not an option.  The doc has recommended 2 local surgeons....they both seem good....i called one and earliest they had available was 9 November but they have me on a wait list in case there are cancellations.  The other was closed but I will try them on Monday to see if they can see me sooner.  

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    • Posted

      OH MY drug reactions are definitely life threatening. I believe this will heal but you will have to be totally off your foot for another 8 weeks if there is a non union. I do recommend bone stimulators however, my doctor had a rep drive one out to me  because my medicare ins. would not pay. and I live in the country. I still have it 5 months later, seems he will ask for it when needed. Said they run $2500!! That is quite a bit of $$ . I did wait 4 weeks to see if my facture would heal and when returning to my physician she said 60% but, would be NWB another 6 weeks. I asked her to put a screw in which menat 4 off, 4 in boot then healed. I have also had a total shoulder. Can not imagine not being able to have surgery. They could do a block which works great. let us know. S
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  • Posted

    where do you live that you are getting such poor medical care? I can not believe it. 
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    • Posted

      I live in Australia.  It makes me sad as my father (who is now deceased) was a radiologist and would have been able to tell me it wasn't healing right at a much earlier stage had he stil been alive.

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  • Posted

    I would get a 2nd opinion by a orthropedic foot specialist the doctor not a physicians assistant.

    I needed to have surgery for the same reason and the doctor needed to do a bone graft and put in a titanium screw.

    But I'm having a lot of pain still but I believe with Phyical therapy it will be ok

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thx for your reply.  Now have an appointment with ortho surgeon on 9 November which was the earliest I could get.  I am also on a wait list and they will call me if they get a cancellation, which I hope they do as don't want to leave it another 3 weeks.

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    • Posted

      I broke my 5 metatarsal in April it took 10 weeks to start to heal I was in airboot non weight bearing .for 10 weeks. then 2 weeks walking with cruches slightly weight bearing then 2weeks with one cruche then 2weeks with 2 cruches with shoes then 2weeks with one cruche I had 14 weeks phisio as my ankle stiffened but now I am out walking every day my phisio was great.
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  • Posted

    so sorry for you. are you in the UK? doesn't sound like you had good physician advice. 

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    • Posted

      Australia.....and I agree.....based on what I am reading about others being told not to weight bear at least at the beginning, it does seem I got bad advice.  It was the local hospital that originally treated me.
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  • Posted

    So, finally had my long awaited appointment with the foot surgeon yesterday and what a disappointment it was.  Waste of time and money.  To begin with, my fracture looks pretty much the same as it did 6 weeks ago and is non-union, yet he expressed disbelief when I told him it was painful.  He says most people don't have pain associated with it?  WTH?  Basically says 95% heal within a year, mine probably isn't healing cause I'm a smoker, and if it doesn't heal I can live with it, most people do without pain he claims.  Suggested I try something called a grogen stimulator which will cost me about $2000 for the 4 months  I will research those.

    He also told me people walk on these fractures from day 1 etc, but then gives me an info sheet on the fracture, written by him, which says there should be no weightbearing for at least 2 weeks!

    Arghhhhhhhhhhh!

    When I touch the skin on top of where the fracture there is a bump out which I am pretty sure is the bone, and it even feels like it is peircing my skin from the inside out at times.

    Now what??????

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    • Posted

      Major error in post above!  It's now 4 days short of 4 months since I broke it, not 6 weeks!  

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    • Posted

      Omg, that doctor is nuts!! Where do you live? I had painless surgery, non weight bearing 4 weeks, in boot 4 then normal. But mine was non displaced. I believe a screw helps you heal faster. Was back riding my horse and in tennis shoes fast. I am so sorry but you need a new physician!!!
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    • Posted

      I will go back to my gp this week and see if i can get a referral to a different surgeon.....can only hope I finally see a good doc about this.....4 months is a long time!
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    • Posted

      I am so sorry for you!! I went to a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon who said all 5th metatarsal

      Fractures heal better with surgery and will not recurr.

      Let

      Us know. You really need to be totally non weight bearing for any healing

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    • Posted

      Hi, Sandi-I have a 5th Metatarsal that is presently in Non-Union. And the fracture IS Displaced. It rotated a bit, because I did not know I had a broken bone.

      I also had an infection that had to be treated about 5 weeks ago. 

      Infection is gone. Doctor suggests Surgery. I, of course, was in the hope of it mending. 4 weeks since the debridement of the infection, and no union, yet. 

      That's enough.

      I told the Doctor, "I trust you; let's go." Having my Surgery on the 12th of May. I'm fit, 132 lbs, Male, good heart, very active, and want to be "Well--" I'm biting the bullet, one day surgery, 4-6 week Recover.

      Oh, well. It's only work and money! 

      But health comes first, and you've got to trust you Podiatrist Surgeon or Ortho--

      If they're surgeons they know what they are doing. Trust them. They do these 5th Metatarsals as a Matter of Course. 

      Thank God there are Physicians out there that can lliterally "get you back on your feet-"

      Alll the Best,

      Anthony

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    • Posted

      Hi , i have reading your comments in this forum , since you have gone through it so i had 5th metatarsal fracture as i droped a 20kg weight plate on my foot in the gym and had surgery. It has been 2 weeks to my surgery. I am depressed as my dr said to take bed rest.how long does it take so that i can get back to my regular activities apart from gym and  how are you now since it has been an year? Plz reply 
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    • Posted

      I had surgery for mine and I was 4 weeks non weight bearing then 4 in a walking boot then ready to get back on my horse and I am late 60’s.

      It is difficult to be off that foot but I did aquire a knee scooter.

      Not so sure about being in bed however would keep that leg up when you can.

      It is hard but you will make it

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      my name is Julie. I had 5th metatarsal surgery on November 20th this year. I go back to doctor December 5th to remove splint , incision. How long do you think I'll be nonweight bearing after surgery?

      and then transitioned into foot boot, will I be able to start walking after 4-6 weeks? long distance ok? 1 mile, etc etc. I'm a nurse.

      What kind of shoes are you wearing after this surgery and after the boot?

      thank for your help

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    • Posted

      you should be non weightbearing for 4 weeks then in a walking boot another 4. hopefully good to go after that!!! wishing you luck and good health.

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