Q:

How do you fix a broken metatarsal?

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Quick Answer

Treatment for a broken metatarsal where the bones remain in alignment includes wearing a cast for six to eight weeks, according to MedlinePlus. If the ends of the bones do not meet, patients require surgery. After surgery, patients require a cast for a similar amount of time. The metatarsals are the longest bones in the foot, and the fifth metatarsal, which connects the little toe to the ankle, is the most common to break.

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Full Answer

A Jones fracture is a break of the fifth metatarsal near the ankle, reports MedlinePlus. Jones fractures are slow to heal due to a lack of blood flow to the areas. A dancer’s fracture occurs when the tendon pulls a part of the fifth metatarsal away from the rest of the bone. The dancer’s fracture is an avulsion fracture.

If the fracture requires a cast, doctors often instruct patients to avoid putting weight on the foot, indicates MedlinePlus. This requires the patient use crutches for mobility. In some fractures, the doctor fits the patient with a special boot or shoe, giving him the ability to walk on the broken foot. At some point between three and eight weeks, the provider instructs the patient to begin moving the foot again.

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