Q:

How does someone treat and manage metatarsal stress fractures?

A:

Quick Answer

Someone who wants to treat and manage metatarsal stress fractures needs to stop their activity and rest the foot, before seeking medical advice, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. While some people benefit from rest only, others need supportive devices or casts, and some may need surgery.

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Full Answer

As it usually takes between six and eight weeks to recover from a stress fracture, it is necessary to abstain from the activity that caused it during this time, as stated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In addition, patients should avoid placing other forms of strain on the area, while trying less strenuous activities, like swimming. Some doctors may also prescribe protective footwear, including sandals with wooden soles that offer support.

In severe break cases, the patient may need to wear a cast. This keeps all of the foot's bones in one place and promotes organized healing. While the bone heals it is sometimes necessary to use crutches according to Medline Plus. Other options for severe breaks include surgery, which aims to support the bones with an external fixation featuring pins and screws, as stated by the American Academy of Othopaedic Surgeons. During the recovery period, the patients doctor may recommend alternating days of activity with days of rest. Patients who continue to reinjure the metatarsal area may incur chronic injuries, which means the fracture never heals properly.

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