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What Is a Fifth Metatarsal Fracture?
Avulsion and Jones fractures have the same signs and symptoms. These include:
- Pain, swelling and tenderness on the outside of the foot
- Difficulty walking
Until you are able to see a foot and ankle surgeon, the RICE method of care should be performed:
- Rest: Stay off the injured foot. Walking may cause further injury.
- Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
- Compression: An elastic wrap should be used to control swelling.
- Elevation: The foot should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
The doctor may use one of these nonsurgical options for treatment of a fifth metatarsal fracture:
- Immobilization. Depending on the severity of the injury, the foot is kept immobile with a cast, cast boot or stiff-soled shoe. Crutches may also be needed to avoid placing weight on the injured foot.
- Bone stimulation. A pain-free external device is used to speed the healing of some fractures. Bone stimulation, most commonly used for Jones fractures, may be used as part of the treatment or following an inadequate response to immobilization.