Most of us have no trouble comprehending 3-dimensional concepts (like a cube) or even 4, if you add the time dimension, but 5? We would need help from a physicist who understands things like superstrings or M-theory to get a handle on that—if we even could then. There are many things concerning our foot health that we can’t handle on our own, too. A small fracture in your toe or the 1st through 4th metatarsal in your foot could heal well with conservative remedies, but a 5th metatarsal fracture may require a different dimension of treatment: surgery.
There are several spots where the 5th metatarsal (the one connected to your little toe) can break:
- the head or neck where it joins the toe
- the middle shaft, which is often a stress fracture due to overuse
- a Jones fracture near the back of the bone
- an avulsion fracture (the ligament pulls away a small section of bone) at the base where it joins your arch bones
Of these, the most likely to need surgery is a Jones fracture, because that area of the bone has poorer blood supply and therefore may not heal as well. That said, any of the other breaks that are severely displaced or do not seem to be healing properly may require surgical intervention as well.
The only way to tell is to have a foot specialist look at your foot and evaluate the injury. Many times immobilization with a cast or hard soled shoe, rest, icing, and gradual reconditioning of the muscles are sufficient to let the break heal. If surgery is recommended, we will discuss the exact procedure with you so you understand the benefits and risks and can make an informed decision about your care.
For more information, or to have your sore foot examined, call Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (949) 364-9255 or schedule your appointment online. We’ll help you determine the best course of treatment for your broken foot bone.