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    Brief Medical History Overview

    Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Physical Agents In Rehabilitation
    Hi

    I'm new here so hi before I start, also sorry for the long post.

    Went to the hospital today and found out I have a fractured 5th metatarsel, so my leg and foot is in a cast. I've been told by the hospital I need to go back after a week to see how the healing is going, but I'm a bit confused. I asked the nurse how long I will have the current cast in for and she said a week. She didn't say anything else. Reading online, it says the healing time for this injury is anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Is it possible I will have the cast on for only a week, or will it probably be the case that I will have another one put on. The nurse said the fracture was on the bone near the ankle, that was about it.

    Another thing that I am worried about is that the injury happened 2 days ago, and I've been hobbling about on it in this time before getting it seen to, as the injury happened when my ankle gave way on me, so I stupidly thought I'd twisted my ankle. I only realised it was something more serious when bruising around my toes and heel came out, very deep blotchy purple bruising. Because I didn't get this seet to in this time, is it possible this could have complicated the issue??

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    I just went to foot orthopedic doc today and I have a fractured 5th metatarsal. Recovery from this injury could be a good 3 months, most of the time spent in a non-walking cast. We are going on vacation so he put an aircast on for now and I have a prescription for a knee scooter and he told me to use a wheelchair in the house as well. When we return he will hard cast it and still no weight on it. Be careful-this is a bad injury and if not taken care of could require surgery with pins.


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hello.

    I too have a fractured 5th metatarsal. My doctor told me 6-8 weeks non-weight-bearing. He wanted to put me in a full cast, but I asked for another option (so I can bathe, get around easier, etc.), so I now have an air cast. He seemed fine with that, but I'm wondering, could this delay or hinder my recovery in any way?

    Also, it's rather cumbersome and I wonder if I can use the 'backstrap' cast I was first given in Emergency for sleeping. I certainly am not weight-bearing there!

    Finally, some questions about circulation: I'm told that the metatarsal heals slowly due to a lack of blood circulation, so am I better off elevating it to reduce swelling, or leaving it down, which presumably increases blood flow to the area? The swelling I am experiencing is pretty minor.

    And, should I be trying to wiggle my toes to increase blood flow, or keep the foot as immobile as possible, to promote healing of the bone?

    Thanks for your answers!


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    My sympathy to you for the break! I am finally almost back to normal after 12 weeks. I was in an air cast for 8 weeks with no weight then was able to walk in the cast for 1 week and then out of it. My foot hurt like crazy for over a week but the doctor said that was normal and gave me a post-op shoe to wear in the house to relieve some of the stress of the foot muscles and tendons getting used to walking again after being totally babied for so long. I suddenly am almost pain free and actually walked a mile at a good, fast pace this morning. So...hang in there! I did not wear the cast at night or to bathe. All other times I was in the cast, either in a wheelchair or scooter. I exercised my leg and did move my toes a lot, but I don't know if that really helped in the healing. It's just a time thing and really keeping weight off of it. Nasty break!


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Just wanted to share my input on my injury
    29mar2011 i slipped fell down the stairs at home
    fracturing 5th metatarsal. was an avulsion type injury
    foot rolled and i heared a crack.
    I was air casted and i have a follow up with fracture clinic 2may2011
    so far the swelling has gone down, and im able to walk without the aircast at home
    with running shoes.
    its the week of 18apr2011 im starting to do
    mobilization excercises and strength traning.
    riding bike as well as leg extensions and other excercises
    the way the healing is going im hoping to be up and back to normal by end of may 2011
    the only thing i notice is with this injury there may end up some residual traumatic arthritis as a result of the break
    im taking caltrate plus to increase calcium input as well tumeric for inflammation which is helping.
    The healing time of each injury depends on the severity of the fracture im fortunate it was a clean break
    I strongly suggest people do not rely too much on the air cast and to ween off and start therapy once recommended by specialist


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    I too had my foot "crack" and that was end of Feb 2011, took 7 weeks before I was out of Moon Boot, now suffering with swelling, been to Physio twice, had excercises and tomorrow I go to doctors for a quartizone injection to help with the swelling as I have to wear shoes to do my job. I have to still elevate it when I'm not walking on it.
    I noticed someone here said they are using Tumeric to help with the swelling, could that person let me know HOW they are taking it? I am desperate to get my shoes on to go to a wedding on the 7th May!

    I know it may take some months for the foot to be "normal" again, but reading about everyone here has helped me immensley as I thought I was going to loose my foot!

    Also riding an indoor bike is good for cirulation and strengthens the muscles. I have one and also a machine that gets the blood flowing thoughout the body. So I'm working on it.


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Sounds to me like you may be in the cast or a new one for more than a week! if you didn't get it seen to straight away!......feet are a pesky business, so much can go wrong. I was 7 weeks in a boot, but it's been 8 weeks since it happened, it isn't a fast fix, so you will have months of getting it back to being normal, nature has a way of telling us how to heal. Hang in there and ask a lot of questions when you go back to the hospital, ask to see the Xrays on the screen and ask them to explain where the fracture is and if the blood will flow through the bone otherwise you may need an operation to take a piece of 'floating' bone out!.....


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    I agree with the above Im ending 4th week of my 5 metatarsal # injury, have specialist next week, so far wearing the aircast during the day at night take it off i alternate at home with and without shoes, i have adopted a excercise program to strengthen and assist in blood flow to feet. I posted earlier im taking tumeric for inflammation. this has helped me alot but with anything you may want to check with your doctor to make sure you can take this as it may interfere with some medication if your taking. as well It is good to adopt a stretching program for your foor, try circles in each direction. few sets each way, as well you can buy stretching bands place behind toes hold with your hands and bend feet forward
    as well try using epsom salt bath for your feet to open your pores, buy one of those cheap feet baths, i soak it every so often. it helps
    but you know every injury is different. injuries vary from person, age, and other underlying issues play impact on recovery
    make sure to listen to your body.


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Very good advise, tell me how do you use the Turmeric? I've been reading on other sites to mix it with egg white and put on foot, others say take a quarter teaspoon of it in water and drink it? I do have a foot bath and do believe in Epson Salts for bathing so all very good ideas. Please let me know how you used the Turmeric.


    Quote Originally Posted by sizmicnick View Post
    I agree with the above Im ending 4th week of my 5 metatarsal # injury, have specialist next week, so far wearing the aircast during the day at night take it off i alternate at home with and without shoes, i have adopted a excercise program to strengthen and assist in blood flow to feet. I posted earlier im taking tumeric for inflammation. this has helped me alot but with anything you may want to check with your doctor to make sure you can take this as it may interfere with some medication if your taking. as well It is good to adopt a stretching program for your foor, try circles in each direction. few sets each way, as well you can buy stretching bands place behind toes hold with your hands and bend feet forward
    as well try using epsom salt bath for your feet to open your pores, buy one of those cheap feet baths, i soak it every so often. it helps
    but you know every injury is different. injuries vary from person, age, and other underlying issues play impact on recovery
    make sure to listen to your body.



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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    I would advise you to go to health food store buy turmeric in pill form which had high absorbancy rate
    I use one cost me 20 bucks bottle it has helped
    For turmeric to apply it on skin works mostly for open wounds
    I would recommend just taking pill daily to assist with inflammation and pain


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hello Everyone just wanted to give update on my injury its 6 weeks post injury 29may2011 had avulsion 5th metatarsal # injury
    i saw the specialist on 3may2011 aircast is off im walking. i started to run now on the treadmill and using bike. so far so good. no residual pain noted. the fracuture line is healing and filing in quite well. doctor was surprised at this. currently still taking my caltrate for vitamins needed for recovery and slowly off tumeric as not in pain anymore. this is good news im planning by end of month to get back into my martial arts hurrahh
    If you nurse it properly it will heal. complete recovery expected 2 weeks with no functional impairment


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hello everyone just an updated on my injury
    i fractured my 5th metatarsal on 29mar2011
    following this injury we are almost at 4rth month
    i have completely recovered from this injury
    and back to my regular workout routine
    i am running, and doing martial arts.
    the biggest contributing factor to recovery is
    to listen to your body and also supplementation of essential vitamins and minerals.
    glad i have my life back hurrahh


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Week 14 for me and still not healed fully. Putting some weight on it, taking extra vitamins and minerals, massaging and foot spas. Consultant tells me it is getting there just very slowly. Don't know if it has anything to do with where the displaced break was - just below my little toe - or my age or just one of those things. Now having battle with insurance co to get bone stimulator. NICE has approved it , but consultant says that the waiting time would be as long if I could get one at all via the PCT due to the spending restrictions. Ho hum


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Week 15 for me, I broke mine at the base on right foot, still hurts to walk and got a nice lump of calcification right on the outside edge. Mine was not healing and I have a got a Lipus bone stimulator machine (6 weeks) from Phoenix Healthcare Products Ltd @ 70 which i paid for myself as Ins co would not pay - it was worth it as it has made a difference-I am on the last leg of it as its returned 2/2/12, my physio got it at Spire hospital. I have had a lot of trouble with my foot, I got complex regional pain syndrome which my NHS hospital missed and at 8 weeks I was in agony, it was really hot, swollen, extremely sensitive to touch and I was crying with the pain and losing weight -thankfully insured and got a diagnosis in 3 mins then all hell broke loose as needed to get it under control. Since then meds for 6 months for neuropathic nerve pain, intense physio twice a week and since 1st dec I have been to the pool every day except Bank hols over x mas-the pool is the only thing that helps. I fell twisting my ankle both ways very badly and have struggled initially with the mechanics of getting it going again with the ligaments but they seem ok now but my big toe joint is very painful and pulls all the way up to my ankle when I walk. What seemed a little injury has turned out to be a nightmare and seems to be taking ages to get right and it still hurts and I am limping badly (I only did it 10 days b4 I was du to go to Australia to see my son for 2 months :-( glad I was told not to fly as I have been in so much pain and still can't walk very well) hope this helps


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    New here, found this thread through google. I was playing ice hockey on January 14th, and took a slap shot off the outside of my right foot. The pain was there, but I figured it was just a bone bruise. After about 10 days, the pain didn't subside, so I went to get an x-ray and sure enough, broken 5th metatarsal. The x-ray people said I must have a high pain tolerance as I simply walked in and sat down, albeit with a bit of a limp.

    I get the walking boot cast tomorrow, and am being sent to an orthopedic surgeon by my family doc for a second opinion. If 6 weeks seems to be the norm, this is going to completely suck.


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hey, IM new too this site. But, I'm 13 and I broke my 5th metatarsal playing basketball. And I was wondering if anyone could tell me the recovery time. I have a splint and cruches right now and the hospital faxed my x-rays over to the ortho and they are looking at them. But I figured since I'm 13 my bone would heal faster, so could my recovery time actually be 4-5 weeks?


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Quote Originally Posted by JacobHager00 View Post
    Hey, IM new too this site. But, I'm 13 and I broke my 5th metatarsal playing basketball. And I was wondering if anyone could tell me the recovery time. I have a splint and cruches right now and the hospital faxed my x-rays over to the ortho and they are looking at them. But I figured since I'm 13 my bone would heal faster, so could my recovery time actually be 4-5 weeks?
    Hi,

    I broken my 5th metatarsal on my left foot 8 weeks ago and thought I would share my recovery experience. Mine was a spiral fracture on the neck of the bone, from a fall on a night out. I am a 32 year old non-smoking, active male. I was walking and driving on it the day after until the wife insisted we go to the hospital.
    Seen the orthopedic specialist 3 days after the initial break and was given a stiff soled walking shoe so I could keep my ankle mobile.
    Kept weight off the foot and mostly elevated for the first 3 weeks.
    At 2 weeks I could rest the weight of my leg on the heel with no discomfort (unable to do previous to this).
    Start Week 4: Started to put minimal weight through the foot when walking using crutches and orthopedic shoe.
    Start Week 5: Could walk with one crutch while putting weight through my left heel.
    Start Week 6: Could walk with orthopedic shoe while wearing decent ankle boots in the shoe.
    Start Week 7: Could walk slowly with decent ankle boots.
    Had my second appointment with the orthopedic specialist during week 7, who took my crutches off me and told me to wear decent supportive footwear (work boots were good) and start walking on it. Also told I could drive when I could balance on my toes on my left foot. Was able to do this (with pain) 1 week later.

    I am now exactly at week 8 and am walking better each day. I'm hoping that I will be able to start running in a month (by the orthopedic doctors recommendations). I am planning to start exercising on an exercise bike this week and have been swimming on occasion.

    I have my last appointment (hopefully) in 4 weeks where I should be discharged.

    Sorry this a long post but on breaking my foot I Googled the type of break and was depressed by all the negative information on forums. People only seem to post when there's something wrong. Mostly the information was that after 8 weeks a majority of people went to see their doctor and were told to keep weight off it for a further 6 weeks.

    Basically; I listened to the doctors and did exactly what they said. I don't smoke or take on any form of caffeine (no tea, coffee, chocolate, energy stimulating drinks). I didn't take on any alcohol until week 4 and even then this was minimal (1 or 2 beers). Also I made sure I drank an extra glass of milk a day and ate plenty of fruit, veg and fish. And got plenty of sleep.

    I haven't taken any chance yet as I am registered for Tough Mudder on 17th November and hope to fit by then.

    Good luck and speedy recoveries!

    Paul


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hi Paul

    i don't see you mentioning any X-rays. Did you have any along the way. Where you told by the X-ray it was totally healed?
    i have been 8 weeks now since my break, wore air boot, at 5 weeks no healing on X-ray, surgeon said try weight bearing on it around house, I did no pain only in the toe area which seems to be common because of immobilization I think. The pain has gone now from the toes. Surgeon said pain is my guide, if it hurts wear boot or elevate. So I have, but mostly can walk around house in sturdy shoe. Outside I wear air boot. 8 weeks and still no healing.

    Frustrated any suggestions.

    janet


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hi Janet,
    I had xrays at week's 8, 12 and 16. At week 8 I was told there was no indication of healing on the xray, but I was further on in healing than the xray shown since I was walking on it. I was told it was normal to be ahead of the xray.
    At week 12 I was told the union was not complete.
    At week 16 I was discharged after final xray. I had started running 2 weeks prior and was up to 2 miles.
    I completed Tough Mudder 3 weeks after with no problems.
    It took another 2 month's to gain confidence in the foot so I could apply full impact.
    Mine was a spiral fracture of neck 5th metatarsal with approx 4mm displacement. I get the impression that recovery at 8 week's was to be assessed and if there was no improvement then surgery would've been an option.
    I googled a lot during recovery and learned a few things/opinions.
    Metatarsals can take longer to heal due to limited blood flow in the area.
    A 'Jones' fracture almost always requires a simple surgery (screwed back together) but can be walked on in 6 weeks after surgery.
    Mobility of the area of a broken bone 'can' speed up healing instead of purely rest alone. I guess this is a risk and depends on the individual and type of fracture.
    I'm no doctor, but google taught me there were stages of fracture repair. If I remember correctly, first it will clot. It is important not to disturb the clot as you will have to wait for the clot to form again (first week or so).
    It will then form a callous (2 to 6 weeks maybe). Over time the callous will calsify (4 to 16 weeks maybe), forming bone to bridge the gap. Over the next 6 month's or so the bone will go through the reshaping process to get the bone close to its original shape. Also bone density will increase.

    Moving the broken area after the callous has formed stimulates new bone formation.

    Good luck with the rehabilitation.
    Paul


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hi Paul
    thank you so much for replying. I have read a lot of the reviews too from other people and every situation seems to be different. So it's 8 weeks for me now and I am walking on it around house, it did swell up a bit with being on it more over Christmas. Does not hurt at all to walk on it. Have you ever had an X-ray that showed it was fully healed. Mine is just below a Jones fracture. Surgery has not been suggested. I was wondering about mobility speeding up blood supply to the area. Some people have even used a stationary bike I noticed. That's interesting you saying the healing was ahead of xray. Do you think there is a difference between a radiologist reading the X-ray and the ortho surgeon?

    really appreciate your comments. I am just so frustrated not being able to drive and we live in the country so it's hard.

    Janet


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hi Janet,
    I never saw my last xray so don't know if it showed that it was fully healed.
    After 8 weeks I was told not to use the crutches any more and start walking on it. The test to see if I could drive was to hold my body weight on the toes of my broken foot. Only then would my foot be strong enough to drive.
    I was extremely careful not to apply excessive stress through my foot for the first 8 weeks to be told to stand on my toes which I though would open the break again.
    I guess the only way is to listen to your body from now.
    In my opinion, the greater the blood flow, the more nutrients and minerals the affected area receives so the quicker the healing process. That is if you give your body those nutrients, so fish, milk, almonds.
    Apparently smoking is a big no no and smokers can take up to 3 times longer to heal.
    Good luck,
    Paul


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hi paul
    i will be 9 weeks tomorrow. I am a little afraid to balance on my toes will wait till I see surgeon again on the 16th January. I don't smoke, I am a little overweight, I do eat a pretty healthy diet anyway, but have cut out caffeine now. I also have increased my calcium and vitamin d and take a bone enhancer pill too as well as regular vitamins, so hopefully all this will help. I guess I will carry on with what I am doing and see what happens on the 16th January.

    thanks

    janet




    Quote Originally Posted by paulreeve2 View Post
    Hi Janet,
    I never saw my last xray so don't know if it showed that it was fully healed.
    After 8 weeks I was told not to use the crutches any more and start walking on it. The test to see if I could drive was to hold my body weight on the toes of my broken foot. Only then would my foot be strong enough to drive.
    I was extremely careful not to apply excessive stress through my foot for the first 8 weeks to be told to stand on my toes which I though would open the break again.
    I guess the only way is to listen to your body from now.
    In my opinion, the greater the blood flow, the more nutrients and minerals the affected area receives so the quicker the healing process. That is if you give your body those nutrients, so fish, milk, almonds.
    Apparently smoking is a big no no and smokers can take up to 3 times longer to heal.
    Good luck,
    Paul



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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    It takes nearly 6-8 weeks to heal the injury completely. My advice is to get a real cast for a few more weeks and you'll be set to go soon after you get out of the cast.

    OrthoTexas

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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    Hi tod
    I am walking now without the air boot. Pretty well no pain unless I have been in my feet a lot and then the whole foot aches. Still not sure yet if it has started healing. Waiting for X-ray. Foot still swells a bit too if I have been on it a lot. The other problem now is I guess my foot was pretty squished together the toes when I was wearing the boot. Now I am having pain in my bunion which previously had no pain. Don't know if it is because of the way I am walking or what. But very annoying. Feel like I can't win here.


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    Re: Fractured 5th metatarsal recovery time??

    We recommend the Physio Shop - www.physioshop.co.uk
    There's nothing to get disheartened. Just wait for your X-ray and than lemme know what your doc suggests. Till than just limit your walking activity to avoid the swelling.

    OrthoTexas


 
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