There are 5 metatarsals in the foot. These small bones support our weight and allow us to walk and run. Certain activities or injuries can cause a fracture, or “break,” in one or more of these bones. Metatarsal fractures of the foot can be diagnosed by x-rays or other studies. A foot and ankle surgeon can determine the best treatment course for patients. Treatment plans can vary in every scenario. Determining factors for treatment plans include: the type of fracture, the area of the fracture, the stability of the fracture, and the overall health status of the patient.
Metatarsal fracture surgery is usually an outpatient (same day) surgical procedure. The surgery can be performed under Monitor Anesthesia Care (MAC) which is light sedation with local anesthetic block or General Anesthesia. Post-operatively, the foot is either placed in soft dressings with a removable surgical shoe, or a short leg cast.
If the metatarsal fracture surgery is indicated, the fracture is reduced (reposition the fracture) into a normal alignment and position. Then screws and or plates will be used to hold the bone fragments together while they heal. In severe cases an external fixator (fixation on the outside of the body) may be uses for fixation in order to stabilize the bone. Usually, it takes 6-8 weeks for the bone to heal.
Depending on the type and location of the metatarsal fracture, patients may either be allowed to walk immediately, or be non weight bearing after surgery. Most patients only experience pain for about 2-5 days after surgery, but everyone is different. Bone fractures usually heal within 6-8 weeks.
At Valley Foot Ankle Center we have great expertise and experience in foot fracture surgery, with excellent surgical success rates and fast recovery periods.