I broke my 5th metatarsal in March and am still in the healing/recovery phase. Are you in a cast or a boot? Fifth metatarsal fractures vary in treatment and severity based on where on the bone the break is. With some 5th met. fractures weight bearing is permitted, even desired, while in a boot or aircast. Even so, putting weight on that foot could cause pain for quite awhile as the bone heals. In other cases, no weight bearing is allowed at all until complete union of the bone has occured. That is my situation.
Have you asked your doc about the pain? I was casted, totally non-weight bearing for 15 weeks and have been in an aircast with gradual weight bearing for the past 10 weeks. I am now gradually using a supportive athletic shoe as my foot tolerates. Right now, I can only where that shoe for about half the day, before the side of my foot starts to ache--but definitely not the pain that existed when I broke it. I just put my boot back on and the pain is gone. I will have to do that for as long as there is pain--I was told that could be 6-8 more weeks. I am OK with that, as long as the bone heals well. My doc has told me, and internet research has confirmed for me, that once you have broken the 5th met. you are at increased risk at refracture. I have no desire to repeat this experience. The best thing you can do is ask as many questions as you can to your doc to make sure you understand where on the bone the break is, what amount of weight you should be bearing on that foot, and how you can increase circulation to your foot to promote healing.
The Following User Says Thank You to relteach For This Useful Post: shorty66 (08-08-2011)
Relteach, Interesting comment about the increased risk of refracture. My 5th met fracture last summer had me in a cast for 17 weeks. I, also, do not wish to re;ive that experience. I had been told the bone would heal stronger. Can you elaborate a little more on what you read about the risk of refracture? Thanks, Sophie
Inhguy, Usually the 5th met would take longer than 5 weeks to heal. A fracture in ANY location takes 6-8 weeks to heal and the 5th met, unfortunately, is extremely and notoriously slow. Go easy and good luck!
My 5th met fracture appears to be the result of twisting a stress fracture that I was unaware that I had. I have a jones fracture, which is the one foot fracture to avoid because it has a extremely high rate of non-union or delayed union. Most jones fractures happen to elite athletes esp. soccer or basketball players and they have their fractures treated with screws inserted make sure that union IS acheived and the athlete can return to physical activity and training ASAP. Conservative treatment for non-athletes is the casting, NWB for whatever time is necessary to achieve union --typically 4-6 months. My injury was a simple twisting of my foot as it slid out of a sandal. There was no real trauma to the foot and no evidence of bone or any other disease that would contribute to the fracture. I had had some mild pain in the winter while working out. Because of all of my history and the event that caused the frank fracture (I also had two hairline fractures along side the main break) my doc believes that I likely had a stress fracture that became frank at the time of my foot twisting severely. It is true that bones heal more strongly than before the break, but with a history of stress fracture apparent, my doc is truly concerned that I could break it again and he has seen many a jones fracture repeat themselves (he is the foot and ankle surgeon for an NBA team). After being in a cast for 15 weeks, on my
10th week of wearing an aircast, I NEVER want to repeat this experience again!!!!
[QUOTE=relteach;3152840]My 5th met fracture appears to be the result of twisting a stress fracture that I was unaware that I had. I have a jones fracture, which is the one foot fracture to avoid because it has a extremely high rate of non-union or delayed union. Most jones fractures happen to elite athletes esp. soccer or basketball players and they have their fractures treated with screws inserted make sure that union IS acheived and the athlete can return to physical activity and training ASAP. Conservative treatment for non-athletes is the casting, NWB for whatever time is necessary to achieve union --typically 4-6 months. My injury was a simple twisting of my foot as it slid out of a sandal. There was no real trauma to the foot and no evidence of bone or any other disease that would contribute to the fracture. I had had some mild pain in the winter while working out. Because of all of my history and the event that caused the frank fracture (I also had two hairline fractures along side the main break) my doc believes that I likely had a stress fracture that became frank at the time of my foot twisting severely. It is true that bones heal more strongly than before the break, but with a history of stress fracture apparent, my doc is truly concerned that I could break it again and he has seen many a jones fracture repeat themselves (he is the foot and ankle surgeon for an NBA team). After being in a cast for 15 weeks, on my
10th week of wearing an aircast, I NEVER want to repeat this experience again!!!![/QUOTE]
It is always so nice to read your reply....relteach....you always seem to have some good advice! Why can't they call these med fractures....Mary or Suzie and who is Frank and Jones anyway!
My med fracture is between 2 and 3. I am in my 3rd week with the aircast..one that comes up to my knee. It has given me a fit...but in the last few days I have given up the battle with it and am learning how to adjust. Thanks from the advise of Lisa...as to how to deal with my other foot to avoid the sever back problems...Ohray...I at last found a shoe to balance the difference from the aircast. I am recovering from back surgery...and the pain in my back due to the cast was making me nuts.
I also have no idea how I broken my foot...at least not at the moment it happened. Thou I know I was doing dumb things trying to heal my back and using my feet to move all kinds of heavy things. The swelling got out of control and the pain in my ankle became severe. It took two ex-rays three weeks apart to find the break. I will have it ex-rayed again on Sept. 5th. You are so very lucky to have such good docs...NBA and all!!!! mine seem to be kinda groping around trying to figure out how to slow me down.
I always think I'am Wonder Women...I just have a hard time finding my suit!!!
This is a great site....I so enjoy it this time of night....and I have the frigging cast off for the night...My son brough me a wireless keyboard for my 65th and I can type from my bed!!!
I'm glad that you know now where the fracture is. When I first broke mine, my doc told me it was too bad I broke the 5th and not 2nd, 3rd or 4th because if I had it would be a much easier process of recovery--just an aircast for about two months. I understand the frustration of being limited in mobility, just know that it will not be too long before you are out and back to some normal activities. I spent a great deal of time doing internet searches on metatarsal fractures, trying to make sure I understood what the prognosis could be and making sure I was getting the most up to date care. I actually broke my foot while on a best practice visit to a school (I am a teacher) in FL (I live in OH). I have family who lived in the area I was visiting and one family member works with the Heat's foot and ankle surgeon. She was able to have me seen by him and then he referred me to a classmate of his who lives in my area. They have collaborated on my treatment, as neither of them treats frequently treats my kind of fracture-my fracture is almost always a soccer or basketball injury. Had I NOT been out of town when this happened, I most certainly would not have the same experience. Most podiatrists (according to my local doc) see few metatarsal fractures in non-athletes and they can be difficult to treat because the foot typically, even in healthy people, has limited circulation which can slow the bone regeneration process.
I wish I had found this site earlier in my recuperation-for weeks I was frustrated because it seemed no one understood the feelings I had because I was so limited in mobility. In fact, I was teaching (from a wheelchair) and a colleague commented to me that I must have been enjoying the experience because I was still in my cast after 3 months--he said no one stays in a cast for 3 months unless they want to!! I was upset by that comment and most certainly set him straight. I discovered that some of my own colleagues and others I know, believe that most people with feet issues "milk" their situation. As I have been back at school this week, still in my aircast, some of the reactions are disbelief that I am "still" in a cast!! Even an administrator questioned my ability to teach in an aircast!! This site has been supportive to me--others understand --even if my own colleagues may not be.
Sorry this is so long and seems to ramble. Keep up the positive attitude!!!
The Following User Says Thank You to relteach For This Useful Post: vj1954 (07-09-2011)
eek...I just saw how many spelling errors I made..I hope you are not a English teacher!!!! Having a wireless keyboard is great but I can't see my screen very well .
I sure know what you mean by comments people make about the aircast. In just three weeks I have heard all kinds of remarks...most of all why is that thing so big when you just have a little fracture in your foot. How little they know the kind of pain it causes.
It is a great site to vent with people who are going through the same thing. I have a lot of venting to do ....as I am a caregiver for my husband and my 88 year old mother. I am forced to be on my feet all day long even when I am in a cast. Sometimes I wish I could just shut my bedroom door and take care of myself for change. I am pushing myself every day....I am sure that is not a good thing to do...what would we do without our feet?
There is a strom brewing called Dennis...sure hope it does not get into the Gulf as we are still recovering from Ivan. That is all I need!
Must be hard being a teacher these days. Use your cast for some power.
I just found this site and I wish I had this when I broke my Fifth Met last year, August 6th to be exact. All I can say is people, I feel your pain. I did not think my foot would ever heal. Long story short, I stepped off what I thought was a 6" step at church, but was a 3' drop. As I stepped off, my ankle twisted and my foot slipped off the side of my sandal, thus braeaking the last bone in my foot. It was not a complete break. I was in an air cast for six months. Yes, I said it. Six months and I definitely was not milking it. To top off my drama, it was my right foot so I could not drive. THE PAIN and frustration were almost unbearable, but mostly the frustration. I am like Oliver65 in that I am always the one taking care of everyone else and it is so hard to be dependent on anyone else. I worked on the second floor with no elevator and I had to crawl up and down the stairs everyday. After three months, I figured how to drive with my left foot, did not say this was the safest or right thing to do, but I had no other option. I would take my cast off once I got in my truck, then slowly drive with my left foot, then put the boot back on before I got out of the truck.
I too thought my doctor was nuts about just a boot, no cast. In hind sight, I am grateful for the boot. I could at least get air to it and bathe easier. I learned to take showers standing on one foot. My hip and knee began to hurt on my good leg and that was frustrating too. One day you will wake up and it will not hurt as bad as the day before, until one day you get up and it is not the first thing you think about. You will be like a kid when you figure out you can flex your foot in new ways that you have not been able to.
The bad news is that it has been one year since my break and I do still have aches in my foot. Some days it just aches in the break area. It is not everyday and it is not that often, but it does occur.
I wish each of you a speedy recovery and it will get better. I know Oliver65 you have it tough having to take care of your family and deal with your ailment and for that I am sorry. I know it sucks. For the record, I felt horrible when my husband had to help me all the time during my broken foot. I hate having to ask him for anything. I would not eat or drink just so he would not have to go get me anything. Maybe your mother and husband are not so happy that you have to care for them. I am sure they would rather take care of themselves if they could, but I am sure they are grateful that they have you.
I, too, wish I had found this site back in the Spring when I was searching for all info I could find on 5th met. fractures!! Your story lets me know that eventually I will be back to normal. I has been 6 months for me and I am just gradually putting on a reg. shoe at times, when my foot is not so swollen that I can go without being in pain. My doc basically just told me that it would be about another 6-9 months before I could expect to be back to normal activities. I asked him why he did not tell me this before and he asked me if I would have been in any shape to really want to hear that. I agreed it was better to wait. I have been frustrated by my teaching colleagues who see me "still not recovered" and that I "must like having others do things for me, so why the hurry to get out of the boot." Some have hinted that I must be "milking it" and one administrator said as much. I would NEVER wish this injury on anyone at anytime, but situations like this the thought does come to mind that they would never say such things if they've ever been there.
I'm glad that you have recovered and it gives me hope.
Thanks, Pat for your story. I am so hoping that when I see my doc on Tuesday for another xray and update that there will finally be evidence that the fracture has achieved union. The lateral view 4 weeks ago did, but one other view showed non-union in the medulliary canal. I really want to be one that has a positive outcome, even though I know that the odds are not in my favor with Type II jones fracture. The most frustrating part for me is that more and more people I associate with, at work and even socially, doubt that any fracture could take this long to heal. They insinuate that I am milking the condition to avoid doing things. This is happening more at work and it is very discouraging. I have had to have my doc provide printed research to my administrators that clearly indicates that the recovery period is prolonged. Yet still, they do not believe it. To me THAT is unbelievable!!!!!
I am just getting to the point now where I can wear an athletic shoe for the entire day without pain at the fracture point. I still have pain in my ankle as I have little range of motion and I limp as I walk. I am not even sure I would know how to walk without a limp.
I wish you the best of luck with your foot and upcoming surgery--I hope healing this time around goes much quicker!
yea this when doctor's say 6-8 weeks, they actually mean 20-30.
I had a jones fracture in July, i was in a cast for 2 1/2 months, and the bone is only 40 % healed, but the doctor said it's healing and this is why he took me out of my cast and now i can wear 2 shoes still on crutches.
I am so happy to find this thread. I don't know if I have broken my foot but my pain is excruciating.
I posted a thread asking "what is this?" But even if I haven't broken my foot I can identify with the pain issues you are all talking about.
My foot pain is excruciating. It hurts when I put pressure on my foot and when I bend it as I start to lift my foot. I am in tears sometimes at the end of work day when I have to remove my shoe. The pain on on the top part of my foot somewhere in the middle. Right side of foot hurts too. The pain is almost indescribable. I have talked to so many people and no one can identify what I am talking about.
I stand most of my work day. I do a lot of bending and some heavy lifting. I do get a little time sitting at my computer entering data. I have been to reg. doc about this twice. Last time they did x-ray and showed no stress fracture. He said he was going to go ahead and order an MRI to see if that picks up anything. He also scheduled me with a foot specialist.
I have no recollection of a specific injury where I could have broken anything? Could this still be a break? I don't know what it is but I KNOW, KNOW, KNOW something is wrong!
I am going to read up more on met. breaks. Thanks for listening.
I have been having pain in my foot for about three weeks now on the ball of my foot behind the little toe near the outside of my foot. I am walking on it with the pain, the most severe pain in in the morning, my ankle also hurts a little and my leg up to the knee feels kind of numb or achy at times. Could this be a fracture even though I can walk on it?