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Fractured 5th metatarsal

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by janine, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. janine

    janine New Member


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    A week ago I ran from a spider on a flight of stairs, fell and fractured the 5th metatarsal on my right foot. I went to ER where the fracture was confirmed with X-rays. I had no examination, besides the X-rays.

    Since there is some displacement, the ER doctor wanted to put in screws but (thankfully) decided against it after consultation with an orthopedic surgeon.

    He then put me in a walking boot and told me to take a few steps. When that hurt too much, he gave me crutches. He didn't say whether I should keep weight off or how long I should or might need the crutches for. I was not told not to drive (only that it would be uncomfortable with the rigidity of the boot) and that I should manage without the boot in about 2 weeks.

    I find driving stressful and painful. I have some swelling and tenderness over my right ankle, spreading a little above it.

    I am a 41 year old, healthy, not overweight South African women. Prior to this, I ran 15 - 15 km per week (on a treadmill).

    Xrays: [​IMG]

    I have a few questions, understanding that you can only give general advice.

    1. should I try to walk in the boot or keep weight off for a while?
    2. is it advisable to drive at all?
    3. is the tenderness over my ankle normal with this type of injury?
    4. is it advisable to see an orthopedic surgeon now or should I wait out the four weeks?

    Thank you.
     
  2. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    DISCLAIMER:
    THE FOLLOWING IS OFFERED GRATIS AS GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, AND, AS SUCH, MAY NOT BE APPLICABLE TO THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONER AND/OR HIS/HER PROBLEM. IT IS CLEARLY NOT BASED ON ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE AND/OR EXAMINATION OF THE QUESTIONER OR HIS/HER MEDICAL HISTORY, AND IT CAN NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS DEFINITIVE MEDICAL OPINION OR ADVICE. ONLY THROUGH HANDS- ON PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH THE ACTUAL PATIENT CAN ACCURATE MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS BE ESTABLISHED AND SPECIFIC ADVICE BE GIVEN. NO DOCTOR/PATIENT RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED OR ESTABLISHED OR MAY BE INFERRED. THE QUESTIONER AND/OR READER IS INSTRUCTED TO CONSULT HIS OR HER OWN DOCTOR BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH ANY SUGGESTIONS CONTAINED HEREIN, AND TO ACT ONLY UPON HIS/HER OWN DOCTOR’S ORDERS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. BY THE READING OF MY POSTING WHICH FOLLOWS, THE READER STIPULATES AND CONFIRMS THAT HE/SHE FULLY UNDERSTANDS THIS DISCLAIMER AND HOLDS HARMLESS THIS WRITER. IF THIS IS NOT FULLY AGREEABLE TO YOU, THE READER, AND/OR YOU HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE AGE OF 18 YEARS, YOU HEREBY ARE ADMONISHED TO READ NO FURTHER.
    *************************************************
    I really cannot get involved in giving you advice specific to your ongoing case, so all of my comments will be generic in nature and not intended as instructions for you or for you to act on without the specific advice of a hands-on attending doctor.

    Looking at the spiral nature of the fracture, I would guess that there was a torsional component to the trauma, very possibly from a concomitant inversion injury of the ankle, and as such I would not be surprised in a case such as that that there might be pain on the lateral aspect (outside) of the ankle. I would question why internal fixation was ruled out, and I cannot imagine why the treating doctor did not tell you whether or not weight bearing should be done, or why you didn't ask. If you were my patient, you wouldn't be bearing weight and would be driving, but you are not my patient and I am not your doctor. As far as seeing an orthopedic surgeon, I though you stated that one was initially consulted, and as I do not know the skill, experience or competency of the doctor who is currently treating you, I cannot give you a meaningful answer to that question.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  3. janine

    janine New Member

    Thank you, Footdoc.

    I appreciate the quick response. I didn't think to ask until afterward. I guess I was in shock (realizing the implications of my stupidity, worried about how I would get to work and taxi kids to a from school and extramural activities, etc.). Given that the ER doc told me to walk on the boot and only offered crutches after I couldn't, I assumed putting weight on was okay (since it is not an area of the foot that is highly weight bearing). It was when I thought about it and when other people, who've had similar injuries, started telling me they were instructed to keep weight off for weeks, that I started wondering.

    I never saw the orthopedic surgeon, nor do I know who it is - the ER doc consulted him and reported to me. According to the ER doc, the orthopedic surgeon felt internal fixation wouldn't speed up healing, because they'd have to wait a week for swelling to decrease anyway and by then healing would have started - no need for "unnecessary" anesthesia. Also. I was told the displacement isn't of the kind that would lead to functional problems later on.

    I think, after hearing your response, I will consult an orthopedic surgeon sooner rather than later. Thank you again.
     
  4. Mandi

    Mandi Guest

    Hi, the same fracture happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I know yours occurred a while ago but I was just wondering, how did your foot end up healing? How long did it take? And did you have surgery? :(
     
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