TOE AND METATARSAL FACTURES

WHAT ARE FOOT FRACTURES?

Of the 28 bones in the foot, 19 are toe bones (phalanges) and metatarsal bones (the long bones in the midfoot). Fractures of the toe and metatarsal bones are common and require evaluation by a specialist. A foot and ankle surgeon should be seen for proper diagnosis and treatment, even if initial treatment has been received in an emergency room.

Traumatic fractures are caused by a direct blow or impact, such as seriously stubbing your toe. Traumatic fractures can be displaced or nondisplaced. If the fracture is displaced, the bone is broken in such a way that it has changed in position.

Stress fractures are tiny hairline breaks usually caused by repetitive stress. Stress fractures often afflict athletes who, for example, too rapidly increase their running mileage. They can also be caused by an abnormal foot structure, deformities or osteoporosis. Improper footwear may also lead to stress fractures. Stress fractures should not be ignored. They require proper medical attention to heal correctly.

TREATMENT OF TOE FRACTURES:

Fractures of the toe bones are almost always traumatic fractures. Treatment for traumatic fractures depends on the break itself and may include these options: rest, ice, elevation, splinting or buddy taping, rigid sole shoe, and surgery.  

TREATMENT OF METATARSAL FRACTURES:

Treatment of metatarsal fractures depends on the type and extent of the fracture and may include: RICE, activity modification, immobilization, and surgery.

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