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Old 09-26-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
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5th Metatarsal fracture + Using Aircast Pneumatic Walker

Hello everyone,

I injured my right foot--5th metatarsal--on Monday, Sept. 21. I waited 48 hours before seeing my doctor, who examined my foot and had X-rays done.

He told thereupon that the fracture was a small one. He has started me wearing an Aircast Foam Pneumatic Walker boot (to knee) and asked me to come back in two weeks and do more X-rays to see whether or not I would to continue to wear the Walker.

My question is whether I have to wear this really uncomfortable boot 24/7, including when I'm sleeping or just at home resting/reading/watching television.

My doctor said I should wear it all the time except when I bathe. But I am wondering if there is any "leeway." If, for example, I wear thick rubber-soled slippers when I am at home and avoid putting any weight on that right foot (by "scooting" around on the right heel), will I be obviously taking on some risk?

I recall that 14 years when I had a fracture of my ankle, I had a removable cast that I would took off at night when I was sleeping or when I simply wanted relief from wearing this apparatus on my foot/leg all the time. The fracture healed without any delay that I know of.

Also, I wear the aircast boot to the gym when I do a work-out (Nautilus machines). I take it off and wear Chacos sandals when I use the swimming pool.

Any comments or suggestions would be most welcome!

 
Old 09-27-2009, 04:44 AM   #2
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Re: 5th Metatarsal fracture + Using Aircast Pneumatic Walker

I would recommend you wear the aircast as prescribed until you see the doctor. Fifth metatarsal breaks heal slowly. I had surgery in which the first and fifth metarsal were cut (osteotomy) and then pinned. The first metarsal healed much faster than the fifth. Search the site for threads about fifth metarsal healing. Two weeks in the boot will be over soon.

 
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:24 AM   #3
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Re: 5th Metatarsal fracture + Using Aircast Pneumatic Walker

I, too, would follow my doc's instructions until x-rays show some change. It all depends on where the fracture is. Did your doc call the fracture a "jones fracture"? If so, search for threads that mention jones' fracture--I had one a couple of years ago and my situation is pretty well recorded on those threads. They are notorious for healing very, very, very slowly. Non-weight bearing until calcification is noted on the x-ray is essential to healing a fracture of the foot.
Not all docs know how to treat a jones fracture because they don't see them all that often. Is your doc a foot and ankle specialist? If not, I would seriously consider having a consult with one.

Be patient!! It will heal with time.

 
Old 09-27-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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Unhappy Re: 5th Metatarsal fracture + Using Aircast Pneumatic Walker

Thanks for your suggestions and sharing your experience. It was my family doctor who saw me...he said that depending on the X-ray, he would either put me in a boot or else have me see a specialist to do something more complicated, e.g., a pin. I had done some searches on the Internet prior to seeing him. He wasn't especially forthcoming about his diagnosis, I had to ask him if it was the 5th metatarsal and if it was a stretched or torn ligament or a bone fracture. So to tell you the truth, I don't know if it is a Jones fracture rather than an avulsion fracture (at least it's not a listfrac apparently).

I am starting to wear the aircast boot all the time except when I sleep or go swimming (or want a few hours' break) when I am home. I am already spooked by the idea of the metatarsal not healing or else healing very very slowly

At the start I really hated wearing it, as I take my shoes off always when I come home and because it is so heavy and uncomfortable.

And I advise everyone I bump into to not wear sandals, even good ones, when hiking.

Last edited by moderator2; 09-27-2009 at 10:31 AM. Reason: please do not post websites except as described in the Posting Policy

 
Old 09-27-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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Talking Re: 5th Metatarsal fracture + Using Aircast Pneumatic Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janesfoot View Post
I would recommend you wear the aircast as prescribed until you see the doctor. Fifth metatarsal breaks heal slowly. I had surgery in which the first and fifth metarsal were cut (osteotomy) and then pinned. The first metarsal healed much faster than the fifth. Search the site for threads about fifth metarsal healing. Two weeks in the boot will be over soon.
Thanks for the search suggestion. I thought I had covered all the search possibilities for this site. This site is so helpful and adds a lot to what I have already come up with by doing various Google searches, which often quote the same information.

I'm going to have to bite the bullet. Nonetheless, I do have to go out and do some walking, just go get to the grocery and do various house chores. But maybe I'd better limit my walking just the same until the foot gets better.

Strange, how the pain seems to now be coming from the right side, next to the bony spherical part of the ankle.

 
Old 09-27-2009, 03:58 PM   #6
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Re: 5th Metatarsal fracture + Using Aircast Pneumatic Walker

You should wear the boot all the time, and keep off the foot, and keep the foot elevated as much as possible.

IMO you should not be going the gym and should really not be swimming with a broken foot. If you keep moving the foot the fracture will not form a union and you are delaying the healing.

 
Old 09-28-2009, 06:14 PM   #7
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Re: 5th Metatarsal fracture + Using Aircast Pneumatic Walker

Thanks for your firm advice. I am actually trying to wear that Aircast pneumatic Walker boot 24/7, or as much as possible, or as I can tolerate. I spoke to the doctor about exercise and he definitely ruled out swimming using the "flip-flop" leg kick, but the other doctor said it was O.K. to use a float between the legs so that my legs and feet would not be working.

As for weight-bearing exercise (Nautilus), my doctor also said that I should avoid any exercise that makes the right leg bear weight or any effort whatsoever.

He seemed to be suggesting that I had a relatively minor fracture that should heal possibly in a short while, but, in any case, a conservative course of treatment would be judicious. I don't want have to continue wearing this Aircast for the next 6 months!

 
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