Sports Rehab and 5th Metatarsal Fractures

palpating foot

Sports Rehab and 5th metatarsal fractures are common to sports that require running or jumping.

Such fractures are seen in sports like football, soccer, dancing and basketball where a quick change of direction is needed.

5th metatarsalThe fifth metatarsal is the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the small toe. There are two types of fractures that frequently occur in this bone (1) avulsion fracture where a small piece of bone is actually pulled off by a tendon or ligament. This usually happens when the ankle rolls and (2) Jones fracture is either a stress or acute injury. It is a tiny hairline fracture that happens over time or from acute impact. Therefore Jones fractures occur by overuse, repetitive stress or trauma.

In this article I will be discussing sports rehab and fifth metatarsal fractures and is affect on performance.

Symptoms of 5th Metatarsal Fractures

The symptoms of this injury are few (1) pain, swelling and tenderness along the lateral border of foot (2) gait deviation due to difficulty to bear weight on the involved foot and (3) bruising on the outside of foot. Any time that an athlete has an ankle sprain symptoms of this fracture should not be overlooked. The foot specialist must takes x-rays and imaging studies to clarify the diagnosis.

Sports Rehab for 5th Metatarsal Fractures

With the onset of the injury the doctor usually recommends the R.I.C.E. method to start the process of reducing the acute pain. Must rest the injured area so as not to cause further injury; apply ice application several times per day for approximately 20 minutes; wrap the foot with an elastic bandage and elevate the foot above the heart a few times per day. The R.I.C.E  method is needed to minimize the acute pain and swelling.

walkingboot01A period of immobilization is needed either in a cast or boot. The specialist will sometimes recommend crutches and a follow up appointment will determine how much time of immobility is required. If healing is stubborn the doctor will bone stimulasuggest a bone stimulator which is an external pain free device. Once the bone is healed the doctor may recommend sports rehab to strengthen the foot, improve gait and balance.

Return to Sports Activity

Fractures of the 5th metatarsal normally heal without complication and in time athletes can return to activity fully. Absence of pain is a clear sign that you can return to sports activity. On the average the time for the sports rehab program and healing is 6-12 weeks. The best an athlete can do to avoid this type of fracture is to make sure you are wearing proper fitted and quality footwear.