Fifth Metatarsal Fractures
One of the more common foot and ankle fractures is that of the fifth metatarsal. The metatarsals are the bones which make up the majority of the foot and, as such, bear a lot of force from normal use. The fifth metatarsal is the bone directly behind the pinky toe and is unique in several ways. Being on the outside of the foot, it is the first bone loaded through the forefoot with every step of our gait. It bears a significant load because of this. The bone also has a unique range of motion at the joint behind it with the cuboid. This articulation allows for an increased range of motion compared to the other lesser metatarsals, so when the fifth metatarsal does fracture, there is an increased need for surgical intervention.
Depending on the type of fracture of the fifth metatarsal, whether it is further out towards the toes or closer to the back of the foot, treatment can range from stiff soled shoes and immobilization to surgical fixation with plates and screws. Again, depending on the type of fracture, more surgery may be needed down the line to address the cause of the fracture. Stress fractures can often recur if left on their own.
Because of the variety of fifth metatarsal fractures that exist, it is imperative to see a surgeon who specializes in the foot and ankle to accurately treat these injuries. The regular rules of other fractures in the body do not necessarily apply to the fifth metatarsal, so don’t just assume your primary care physician or the emergency department doctor have it under control. We’ll be happy to offer our opinion at Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle. Please contact us at either our Avon (970-949-0500) or Frisco (970-668-4565) location.