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Broken 5th metatarsal - Need advice about movement please

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by Laurieg6, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Laurieg6

    Laurieg6 New Member

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    Hi there,
    I broke my left foot bone almost four weeks ago - while walking my friend's dog and when the dog lunged after another dog, my ankle twisted and the 5th metatarsal broke in 2-3 places. I was first given a walking/air boot and crutches at the urgent care clinic. Two days after the break, I was able to get into a sports medicine clinic to see a podiatrist. He said to not use the walking boot and I was given a very soft boot to wear instead and told to be non-weight bearing until I was seen again in five weeks. I rented a knee scooter and haven't used the crutches since then because they seemed to cause wrist pain that hasn't gone away.

    Now that I have the knee scooter, I am feeling very misaligned. My right leg is tight and no amount of stretching seems to help it, and my right hip is starting to hurt sometimes. The left leg, which is almost always propped up, and in the boot until late-ish at night is feeling weak and it's craving the feeling of the ground beneath it :)

    I have accidentally stepped on my broken foot about five times now and each time I quickly raise it back up. It hurts when I step on it, but then feels okay again - no pain, except some occasional achyness at night after a long day. I did this last night and felt major pins and needles and I'm just starting to panic that each time this happens, I'm possibly re-breaking the bone and prolonging the healing.

    On the other hand, I've also read that a little weight bearing can possibly help with the healing by increasing blood flow to the area. I also haven't been told not to move my foot, so I've been trying to increase blood flow to it by doing circles with my ankle and pointing and flexing my foot. What do you all think about these movements and how they'd affect my foot's healing? I can't wait to walk again and although I can't stay home all the time due to my work, I will do just about anything to make this foot heal as quickly as possible.

    Thanks in advance for any responses, including any sharing of similar stories and your healing process.

    By the way, I am 56 years old, and have always been relatively healthy, and this is my first broken bone. I was in physical therapy for upper back/neck pain due to arthritic bony areas in my neck, but have been in very good physical shape other than this and have had no problems with anything healing.
  2. KEH

    KEH Guest

    Hi - Please just be patient - this break takes a long time to heal given the low blood flow to the area. The doctor told me 2-3 months recovery when it first happened and I wanted to believe it would be a shorter recovery, but it's has not been. I am a 48 year old with a similar situation. I broke my fifth metatarsal 11 weeks ago and have been non-weight bearing the entire time with an aircast (I have a knee scooter at home and work; crutches the rest of the time). It's my right foot and I do need to drive about 20 minutes each day to/from work which the doctor is aware of -- so I think your minimal movement should be okay. I fell a few times in the early days as well with no additional damage (that I am aware of). But it took at least 5-6 weeks for my initial injury pain/swelling to go away. After 5 weeks there was not enough healing, so the doctor gave me a bone stimulator. I was a little shocked at the cost, but have used it at least once daily for more than 30 days. I have gotten xrays at each 4 week interval and there was finally some healing after a couple of weeks of use of the bone stimulator, but it's hard to tell how much the stimulator worked vs just time -- but I don't care. Like you I am desperate to walk again. I have searched all over the web and there is so much debate on weight bearing vs non weight bearing -- even my doctor brought it up -- but I don't want to mess this up and have stayed non weight bearing in line with his guidance. I did get a 2nd opinion (due to frustration at the time taking to heal) and as long as there is no longer pain, it doesn't seem like surgery for me at this time is an answer. The other frustrating thing is that surgery would be an additional 6 weeks non weight bearing. This week the doctor said I could stand in the shower only -- but still remain non weight bearing the rest of the time. I am hoping to be able to walk in a boot in a couple of weeks, but keep reminding myself to be patient. The healing for this injury just takes time. Hope this helps.

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