Fifth metatarsal fracture (Folder)

Chirurgie Orthopedie Spoedeisende Hulp / Spoedpost
Michelangelolaan 2
5623 EJ Eindhoven
040 - 239 91 11
Catharina een Santeon ziekenhuis

Fifth metatarsal fracture (Folder)

You have fractured the bone on the outer part of your foot (fifth metatarsal fracture). This type of injury is treated  with a removable boot (walker).

Summary

  • You have a fracture in the metatarsal bone of your little toe.
  • This type of injury almost always heals well without any loss of function.
  • A routine follow-up is not necessary for this type of injury.
  • You will wear a removable boot (walker) for at least four weeks. From day one you are allowed to stand on your foot in the walker if the pain allows this.
  • To prevent the ankle from getting stiff, it is important that you start exercising the ankle after taking off the walker.
  • You can find exercises for your ankle in the folder or in the app.
  • If you have any questions, or are experiencing problems with your recovery, you can call the “Breuklijn” (fracture hotline) (+31) 040 239 96 40 on workdays between 9:00 – 12:00.

Treatment

A fracture of the fifth metatarsal is a common injury. The fracture is treated with a removable boot (walker). If necessary, you can buy crutches at the hospital.

Time Treatment
0-4 weeks
  • Walker.
  • Stand on your foot in the walker if the pain allows this.
4-8 weeks
  • Walker.
  • Stand on your foot in the walker if the pain allows this.
  • If your pain allows you to do so, you can now use a supportive shoe instead of the walker.
  • If walking in a supportive shoe is still too painful, it is no problem to use the walker for another 1-4 weeks, depending on pain.
  • Stop using the walker after 8 weeks.
After 8 weeks
  • Remove walker.
  • Use your foot as your pain allows this.
  • A supportive shoe might help to do so.
  • You can slowly start sports, however, it may take up to three months before you can do so normally.

Instructions

Follow the instructions for a good recovery.

  • Did you get a tubigrip during your visit at the emergency department? You should wear this aid for a few days until the swelling has reduced. During the night, you should not wear the tubigrip.
  • Wear the walker for 4-8 weeks. Based on pain you are allowed to use a supportive shoe instead of the walker after 4 weeks.
  • You can remove the walker during the night. You can find instructions on how to put on the walker in the app.
  • From day 1, you are allowed to stand on your foot while wearing the walker, using crutches if necessary.   You can gradually start increased use of your foot while wearing the walker, as long as your pain allows you to do this.
  • It is important to elevate your foot in the first weeks. Does the walker feel more tight? Elevate the foot, for example, by putting it on a chair. The swelling will reduce, and the pressure and pain will decrease.
  • Start with exercises after removing the walker, to prevent the foot from getting stiff. You can find exercises in the app or in the information folder.
  • You should not practise sports for the first 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, you can gradually start sports again, if your pain allows you to do this.
  • Are you in pain? Use a mild pain killer such as paracetamol (acetaminophen). Do not wait with the use of paracetamol until the pain is too much.

Recovery

  • This type of injury almost always heals well with time and use – no specific treatment is required and routine follow-up is unnecessary.
  • Physiotherapy is not necessary. If you are not satisfied with the function of your foot  after 6 weeks, you can contact a physiotherapist.
  • Does the pain increase, or does it not improve? Please contact the “Breuklijn” (fracture hotline, see below).

Reapply the walker

When you remove the walker, for example when you take a shower, please find instructions to reapply the walker.

Fifth metatarsal fracture exercises

After a fracture of the metatarsal, stiffness, loss of strength and loss of coordination can occur. The following exercises can be performed to support your recovery.

Instructions

You can start doing exercises after four weeks. Start with non-weight bearing exercises. This means that you perform exercises without standing on your foot. When you are able to successfully perform these exercises, you can start with weight-bearing exercises. Only exercise as pain allows.

Follow the instructions below:

  • Practice at least 3 times a day and repeat each exercise 10 times
  • You can perform the exercises in warm water if preferred.

Non-weight bearing exercises
Non-weight bearing exercises can be divided into passive and active exercises.

Start with the passive exercises and then continue with the active exercises.

  • Passive exercises: bend, straighten and move the ankle with your hands.
  • Active exercises: without using your hands, tighten the calf and foot muscles, bend, straighten and move the ankle in all directions.

Weight bearing exercises
Weight bearing exercises can also be divided into passive and active exercises. Again, start with the passive exercises and then continue with the active exercises.

  • Passive exercises: sit down and do the stretching exercises using your body weight, as shown in the images below.
1. Place your foot far from the chair and try to place your heel on the ground. 2. Slide your foot closer tot the chair and try to put your heel back on the floor. Pull your foot closer until you feel a mild-moderate stretch.

 

  • Active exercises: stand up and do the stretching exercises using your body weight, as shown in the pictures below.
1.Place your healthy foot in front. Stretch your injured ankle as far as possible. 2. Place your injured foot flat on the ground.

 

3. Place your healthy foot behind your injured foot. 4. Stretch your injured ankle as far as possible.

Other exercises
It is important to practice standing correctly on the affected leg, as pain allows. Walking starts with being able to stand on one leg. Also try to use the ankle as normally as possible again, as pain allows. Every step you take is a step closer to a normal gait.

Questions? Please call us!

If there are any questions after reading the information, please contact the Breuklijn at 040 239 96 40 between 09.00 and 12.00.

In case of an emergency or problems that cannot wait until the next weekday, please contact our emergency department at 040 – 239 96 00

Contact

Catharina Ziekenhuis Eindhoven
040 – 239 91 11
www.catharinaziekenhuis.nl

Breuklijn (Fracture hotline)
(+31) 040 239 96 40 (on workdays 9.00 – 12.00h)

Route numbers and other information about our emergengy department can be found at: www.catharinaziekenhuis.nl/spoedeisende-hulp

App Virtual Fracture Care

In our app you can find more information about your injury. You can also find exercises here to improve your recovery. You can find the app in the Appstore (iPhone) and in the Google Store (Android).

You can also scan the QR-code. You will then automatically be directed to the app.

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