Orthopaedics

Types of 5th Metatarsal Fracture

The 5th metatarsal is the long bone that connects to the little toe on the foot’s outside. A 5th metatarsal fracture can easily occur due to the nature of the bone. The lump in the mid-foot that can be seen and felt on the outside is the 5th metatarsal. There are three types of primary 5th metatarsal fractures that can occur and each one has to be treated differently.

Let us look at the types of fractures.

Avulsion Fracture

This fracture is usually caused by an injury  which involves the rolling of the ankle. During the injury, a small piece of the bone would get detached from the main portion due to a ligament or tendon interference.

Ankle sprains can be a very easy cause of these fractures. Due to the nature of the injury, there is every chance that these fractures are overlooked.

Not often would a surgery be required to deal with these fractures and a simple cast is enough for the foot to heal.

Jones Fracture

This fracture can be caused due to a sudden break or they can be a stress fracture due to the overuse, repetitive stress and trauma. Jones fractures are more common in sports persons who heavily land on their foot.

Although less common than the avulsion fractures, these are much more difficult to heal as they occur in such a region of the metatarsal where the supply of blood is less. Lesser the blood supply, more the difficulties in healing.

Stress Fracture

A stress fracture of the metatarsal is often the most difficult to treat. These fractures would also require a surgery to assist in healing. Although stress fractures or usually hairline, in this case the breaking of the bone can be complete making it difficult to heal as these fractures take time to surface.

Another type of the 5th metatarsal fracture is the mid-shaft fracture which can be caused by trauma or twisting.

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