5th Metatarsal Fractures

5th metatarsal fractures are a common injury often associated with ankle sprains.
The fracture can involve the base, 5th tarsometatarsal joint or the shaft of the metatarsal.


5th Metatarsal Fractures

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain, swelling and bruising on the outside border of the foot.
  • Pain when weight bearing.

Zone 1 Injuries

  • These are the most common.
  • They can extend into the joint.
  • They commonly occur after rolling over on the ankle.
  • The cause for the injury is avulsion of the metatarsal base due to the attachment of the plantar fascia.


Distal metatarsal shaft fractures

  • This is also called a dancers fracture
  • Often a spiral fracture

What is the non operative treatment?

  • Cam boot or stiff soled shoe
  • Full weight bearing as pain allows.
  • Discard boot or shoe when comfortable to weight bear in normal shoes.
  • Cam Boot should not exceed 6 weeks.
  • Gradual return to normal activities once as pain allows.
  • Physiotherapy can help with a strength and balance program once the pain has settled.

When to consider surgery?

  • Significant displacement at the joint in Zone 1 injuries.
  • Significant angulation or translation in shaft fractures.
  • Painful non union after 3 months.

When is the fracture healed?

The fracture is clinically healed when the swelling and pain has resolved.
This usually takes around 6 weeks.
X-rays taken at this time will not show complete bony union.
Xrays may take at least 3 months to see complete bony healing of the fracture.
It may take at least 3 months to see complete bony healing on the fracture on xrays.

This is an overview of 5th metatarsal fractures and is not all inclusive.

If you have any questions please contact Mr Curry’s rooms on (03) 99286560