The metatarsals are the long bones in the foot connecting the ankle to the toes. A break in one of these bones is a fairly common injury, occurring from sudden trauma or overuse. The break may be a hairline fracture or a complete break where the broken ends of the bones separate.
The most frequently injured metatarsal is the 5th, or the long bone connecting to the little toe. This injury is particularly common amongst dancers. A fracture of the 3rd metatarsal is usually accompanied by a fracture in the 2nd or 4th metatarsals as well.
Healing is expected to take 6 to 8 weeks and requires the wearing of a cast or specialised boot to offload the area.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Pain at the site of the fracture
- Inability to put weight on the affected foot
- Swelling and bruising
- Cracking/popping sound at the time of injury