Swelling after healed 3rd met.

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I had a stress fracture, 3rd meta. bone in my foot. It happened the last wk of October. The original X-ray showed no fracture, so I wrapped my foot with bandage. 6 weeks later still swelled (was going to chiropractor during this time. Went to a podiatrist & this X-ray was...well there could've been a stress fracture. I was in a walking cast 3 months... In January doctor found the crack. Stayed in walking cast from just before Christmas until mid March, 3 months. Went through therapy for 8 wks... After getting out of boot, foot swelled, so kept it wrapped in bandage. Compression bandage, it rubbed my ankle. I got a couple shots to take swelling down but it came back.

now the doctor released me...told me not to wrap. It's as swelled as much as it did originally. I know some swelling, but not as bad as it was when I first broke it? 

Is is this normally, 8 months after the original injury. It seems if I walk more it's better. I'm trying the therapy exercises, helps a little. 

Thank you

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    It's normal - I'm told to expect swelling for at least the next 12 - 18 months, I'm week 16 after breaking my ankle and 5th metatarsal, still using crutches and by the end of the day my ankle and foot are huge. Physio says to elevate and ice it, then massage sort of pushing the swelling away from the foot up the leg, works but it's hard trying to do it on yourself.
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    • Posted

      It is only "normal" because casts or boots are "normally" recommended. Same ritual being perpetuated. I never apply a cast without an elasticized stocking being applied first.
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  • Posted

    The problem with boots and casts is that they immobilise the ankle. This prevents the normal calf muscle pump and hence the collection of fluid caused by gravity. After a period that swelling (oedema) becomes "chronic" as the tissues stretch permanently, and at time the veins block. That is why I have advised - on this web-site - against using moon boots and so forth. As previously recommended the best immobilisation for a fatigue fracture, and most other metatarsal fractures, is your own shoe. Casts and moon-boots are no more than reflex (and expensive) rituals.
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    • Posted

      What you say may be true, not being a Dr I've no idea, however I broke my ankle and 5th metatarsal so needed a cast, moved to the boot for weight bearing and to exercise without the boot. The day after I broke the ankle and foot, I slipped and stubbed two toes on my good foot against one of my crutches, broke both of them, had them taped up for a couple of weeks, the toes and top of that foot swell up just as much as the other foot, only the ankle is better. Had to buy a larger size in shoes.
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    • Posted

      I wished I lived in England and had you as my doctor ... I really hated that boot, it was co cumbersome. I walked lopsided, up & down for 3 months. Thank my chiropractor ... She tried to keep things in line. 

      Don't know if I helped myself but during the time I wore the boot, I only wore it when I was out, at home and every evening, I wrapped my foot with an elastic bandage. And I kept wrapping it afterwards, trying to keep the swelling down. Maybe it will take more than 5 days for it to go down. Yesterday I saw my vein by my ankle, I only have seen that when rewrapping my foot.

      do you think t should return to wrapping my foot? Or is it better to leave it off, and try to walk 6,000 steps a day.

      thanks again for the responses!

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