Non-surgical alternatives in treating fractures of the fifth metatarsal include immobilization and bone stimulation, explains the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. However, injuries involving a displaced bone, multiple breaks or that fail to adequately heal may require surgery.
Immobilization involves placing the foot in a cast, boot cast or stiff-soled shoe, with crutches to help avoid placing weight on the injured foot. With bone stimulation, a pain-free external device is used to speed the healing of the fracture - typically for inadequate responses to immobilization, states the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Immediately after the injury, patients with injuries to the fifth metatarsal are advised to stay off the foot, apply ice for 20 minutes at a time every 40 minutes, use an elastic wrap to control swelling and elevate the limb slightly above the heart until they are able to see a specialist.