Metatarsal Fracture, Undisplaced

ExitCare ImageA metatarsal fracture is a break in the bone(s) of the foot. These are the bones of the foot that connect your toes to the bones of the ankle.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnoses of these fractures are usually made with X-rays. If there are problems in the forefoot and x-rays are normal a later bone scan will usually make the diagnosis.

TREATMENT AND HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Treatment may or may not include a cast or walking shoe. When casts are needed the use is usually for short periods of time so as not to slow down healing with muscle wasting (atrophy).

  • Activities should be stopped until further advised by your caregiver.

  • Wear shoes with adequate shock absorbing capabilities and stiff soles.

  • Alternative exercise may be undertaken while waiting for healing. These may include bicycling and swimming, or as your caregiver suggests.

  • It is important to keep all follow-up visits or specialty referrals. The failure to keep these appointments could result in improper bone healing and chronic pain or disability.

  • Warning: Do not drive a car or operate a motor vehicle until your caregiver specifically tells you it is safe to do so.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A CAST OR SPLINT:

  • You may walk on your injured foot as tolerated or advised.

  • Do not put any weight on your injured foot for as long as directed by your caregiver. Slowly increase the amount of time you walk on the foot as the pain allows or as advised.

  • Use crutches until you can bear weight without pain. A gradual increase in weight bearing may help.

  • Apply ice to the injury for 15-20 minutes each hour while awake for the first 2 days. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your cast gets damaged or breaks.

  • You have continued severe pain or more swelling than you did before the cast was put on, or the pain is not controlled with medications.

  • Your skin or nails below the injury turn blue or grey, or feel cold or numb.

  • There is a bad smell, or new stains or pus-like (purulent) drainage coming from the cast.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.