Fractures of the Fifth Metatarsal Treatment

A fracture of the fifth metatarsal is a common injury where the bone connecting your ankle to your little toe breaks causing pain, swelling, and bruising.


At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our specialised treatment aims to:

What is a Fracture of the Fifth Metatarsal?

A fifth metatarsal bone fracture is a complete or incomplete break in the fifth metatarsal bone in your outside edge of your foot. These long thin bones are located between the tarsal bones and the phalanges. Anyone can get a Fifth metatarsal fracture, however they are common in the paediatric population, accounting for approximately 65% of all paediatric metatarsal fractures. Athletes, people who are obese, people with osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes also have an increased risk of metatarsal fractures.

Types of Fifth Metatarsal Fractures

  • Avulsion Fracture:
    Avulsion fractures make up 93% of all fifth metatarsal fractures. In this type of fracture, a small piece of bone is pulled off the main portion of your bone by a ligament or tendon. Fractures such as this come from an injury that causes your ankle to roll. Avulsion fractures are often missed  when they occur with an ankle sprain.
  • Jones Fracture:
    Jones fractures occur in an area of the fifth metatarsal that receives less blood and as a result, experience more difficulties healing. A Jones fracture can be either a stress fracture, which is a small hairline break that happens over time, or an acute break. These types of fractures are caused by overuse, repetitive stress or trauma. They are more difficult to treat and are less common.
  • Mid-Shaft Fracture:
    Often called a Dancers Fracture, Mid-shaft fractures usually result from trauma or twisting. These breaks occur at the metatarsal head and neck and are typically diagonal. When this type of fracture occurs it often occurs alongside other foot injuries. These fractures tend to be unstable, and rotate or chip into smaller pieces.
Early treatment
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What are the causes?

Generally the cause is a trauma to the foot including:

  • Acute injury such as direct impact on the foot
  • High arches can increase pressure to the outside edge of the foot
  • Repetitive overuse
  • Inversion injury

What are the symptoms of a Fifth Metatarsal Fracture?

Symptoms are generally the same regardless of fracture type, with the location of the symptoms often indicating where the fracture has occurred.

  • Bruising to outside of foot
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty walking or weight bearing

Treatment for Fractures of the Fifth Metatarsal

  • Mobilisations to allow a non-displaced fracture to heal
  • Taping
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Custom orthotics
  • Exercises to increase strength, flexibility and balance

What can I do at home?

  • Resting the foot and limiting weight bearing
  • Wearing loose shoes
  • Elevation above heart level to help reduce swelling
  • Icing for 10 to 20 minutes every 2-3 hours
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How to book an appointment?

If you think that you may be suffering from a Fracture of the Fifth Metatarsal, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our team at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess and diagnose the condition. They will then tailor your treatment plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.

Need Help?

Are you suffering from a painful Fracture of the Fifth Metatarsal? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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