There are five long metatarsal bones in each foot. The fifth metatarsal bone is often fractured. It is the long bone that is located on the outside of the foot and connects to the small toe.
There are two types of fractures that often occur in the fifth metatarsal, avulsion fracture, and Jones fracture. An avulsion fracture, a piece of the bone is pulled off the main portion of the fifth metatarsal by the tendon that attaches to this region.
Jones fracture involves fracture in a small area of the fifth metatarsal that receives limited blood supply. It can either be a stress fracture (a small hairline break that occurs over time) or an acute (sudden) break. These fractures are less common than those of avulsion fractures and may take longer to heal. Overuse, repetitive stress and trauma and overuse are the most common causes of Jones fractures. Symptoms of this fracture include pain, bruising, tenderness, and swelling on the outside of their foot. There may be difficulty in walking.
The doctor diagnoses a foot fracture by performing a thorough physical examination and reviewing your medical history. Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI or CT scan may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.
To control pain and swelling the Initial treatment consists of rest, ice, compression, andelevation (RICE protocol). Immobilization may be recommended to keep from putting weight on the leg. If immobilization does not provide adequate healing, bone stimulation may be recommended. This is a technique for accelerating healing by using an external device.