The five metatarsal bones run from the midfoot to the base of the toes. They are commonly fractured, sometimes through repetitive strain, such as in distance running (“stress fractures”), or through direct injury. Multiple or severe metatarsal fractures may be associated with a Lisfranc injury.
The features of metatarsal fractures vary considerably. Stress fractures may simply cause a little swelling and aching on walking long distances. Other fractures may be associated with significant pain, bruising and swelling.
Treatment of metatarsal fractures depends upon the cause and nature of the fracture and the functional demands of the individual. Stress fractures and other minor fractures may simply require a period of protection in a stiff-soled shoe or aircast boot. More severe injuries require careful assessment and may need surgery to fix the fracture and offer the best chance of recovery.
Initial assessment and preliminary treatment of suspected metatarsal fractures may be carried out in by a General Practitioner or in an Accident and Emergency Department, but to plan optimal treatment an opinion from an Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Specialist may well be required.
At the Foot and Ankle Centre we have the clinical expertise and state of the art imaging facilities to provide prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment of the full range of metatarsal and forefoot fractures.
Urgent cases can usually be offered an appointment within twenty-four hours.