I suffered an acute/displacement mid-shaft fracture of my 5th metatarsal 12 days ago. Approximately 7 days ago, I began feeling numbness of my pinky toe. Three toes were numb the following day, and since then I experience partial numbness of my heel and large toe, along with most of my foot. Pins & Needle feelings precede the numbness, and it seems to come on in the early afternoon each day and then remains until I awake the next day. My orthopedic surgeon says that it will likely heel, but I am concerned. The nerve related symptoms are far more bothersome than any actual pain that I'm experiencing.
Also, I was told that I no longer need to wear a splint or cast of any kind. Just keep my weight off of it. Does this seem correct?
I'll add that this break does not go straight across the bone horizontally (when viewed from above), it is a long diagonal one, running down the long side of the bone (when viewed from above). The broken bone segments are basically in line with one another, with the diagonal length of the break measuring approximately two inches. Not sure of the distance between the broken segments, but it's not enough to make these bones appear out of line with one another. To the layman, it appears that there is significant surface area for these two bone segments to heal with one another.
But again, my question is regarding the nerves in my feet. Thanks for any advice. I understand that you don't have intimate knowledge of my situation, and I'm asking the question because my orthopedic surgeon just wants to wait 4 weeks, check the progress via x-ray, and repeat. "There's nothing we can do about the nerves, even if they are damaged" was his quote I believe.
If in fact you have nerve symptoms, they are not consistent with damage to or irritation of a common nerve segment. That being said, rarely if ever is trauma restricted to one small location, and collateral damage is almost always incurred. Though it is true that damage to a nerve may be permanent, such problems resulting from entrapment of and pressure on the nerve may sometimes be reversed by prompt action.
After 10 days of nerve symptoms, they disappeared as quickly as they arrived. For the past 10 days (I'm now on Day 25 post injury), the pain is localized to the break point. There is still noticeable swelling, but I'm glad that the nerve issue appears to have been temporary.
I know this was ages ago, but how did you get on in the end? Sounds like I've done the exact same break as you. I also had nerve issues because they put the plaster cast on too tight (my toes went black - was pretty scary, but all sorted a week further on).
I had a backslab for a week and half, fibreglass for 3 days (cause it was too tight), then back slab for another 2 days and now in an aircast.
When I got aircast 3/3.5 weeks after fracture, doc told me to keep trying to walk with it if possible and that I could leave it off around the house - he told me not to worry about wearing it at all, unless my foot was going to be bashed - ie at work etc. Still got swelling and pain though.
It;d be interesting to hear about how your healing progress went. It's nice to talk to people who know your situation, even if everyone IS so different healing wise.
I didn't break my 5th met mid-shaft, but on the base, and I had numbness all along the outside of my foot for about 3 weeks, most likely due to swelling because once the swelling started to go down, the numbness went away. There is a sural nerve (sp) along there, according to my doctor, that can get compressed with swelling.
Even now, with my tendon issues, I get swelling and will have my outer 2 toes feel stiff and numb when that happens.
I broke the 5th metatarsal in my right foot beginning November 2010. It has just "healed"up (the break is still clearly visible but filled in and the specialist reckons that is healed). Problem is that I very soon after the break started to feel the numbness on the top of my foot and if I touch it, it feels dead and my big toe tingles. I still cannot get up and walk straight away (in the mornig when I get up or after a prolonged - about 40 minutes - period of time). My foot is stiff and slightly sore on top. It gets better after about 1-2 minutes of walking and then I am barely aware of it. I can run again without issues after the tightness has gone. Specialist does not know what the issue is and advised I go see a Physio as there maybe dead tissue... I will do that, but am at a loss as to how a break in my 5th metatarsal resulted in a total different area in my foot having issues.. Keen to hear if anyone else has the same issue
If there are more injuries, it may not be another bone that is injured and that would probably not show up on an x-ray. I would think that a force strong enough to break a bone is very likely to cause other injuries at the same time.
I agree -- you could have ligament or tendon damage as well when you fractured the bone. My fracture took about 11 weeks to heal, but I'm still dealing with the tendons and ligaments. And I still get numbness on my baby toe and the one next to it when my foot swells. There are lots of ligaments in the foot, across the top, sides and bottom, and any of those could have been injured. An MRI would tell them if it is the case if it's giving you continued grief, but a physio may be able to pinpoint it as well.
I have been having the same exact issue. I broke my fifth metatarsal in July. At the last appointment, I was told it was all healed and filled in. This was late October. However, I am still having pain in the area that was broken. The top of my foot also feels dead. The sensation is completely off. When I touch my right foot, I feel everything. In the left one, it's like it's all numb, as if the nerves have been cut off. Top of foot is swollen again along with my ankle. I am seeing the doctor on Tuesday so hopefully he'll have some insight as to what is going on.
Ok - after reading this post I am now scared that I have nerve damage as well. I suffered a Jones Fracture 3 weeks ago - was in plaster for 3 weeks - NWB - now in aircast but still NWB until 6 weeks. Progress has been good - except i have brutal pain at the head of the 5th metatarsal - right behind the pinky - sore from the top and bottom. And I mean brutal sharp pain... Where was the exact pain location for those of you that had a Jones - I think typically it is more mid-foot. I too did have pain there - but now is pretty good - but behind the pinky toe is really concerning me - my ortho wants me to start weight bearing in 2 weeks - I cannot see that happening...
I had surgery for non union 5th met fracture from july 4 weeks ago. So doc a week ago he told me to start bearing weight, in the aircast, when I could. It's been slow but there's an improvment everyday. My pinky toe, even now, is black and blue and doesn't move. My ankle is sore and stiff... well my whole foot is sore and stiff still. BUT!! Since the ORIF surgery the fracture is stable and it's starting to heal. Slowly beginning to walk on my foot, even a little bit, is making my whole foot feel better. The best thing for my foot has been the ice machine that circulates ice water around my foot. I do that 3 times a day. My leg below my knee has almost no muscle in it but it is helping by walking with the aircast. Especially for my sanity! What I'm most worried about now is the doc having to go back in, at a later date, and remove the plate and screw. I really have to go back to work. SOON...I hope
I'm having the exact same problem as far as the foot being numb. I went to doc's and at first they said it was a bad sprain but then called me the next day telling me it was a heel fracture and to go see my family doctor. It's been about 21 days and all the bruises and most of swelling has gone down but the numbness along the arch of the foot and all along the outer foot right up to the pinky toe is completely numb and that concerns me. Everyone is saying this is normal but it sure doesn't feel normal to me. All they gave me was a splint, no cast of any kind, and so far everything seems to be healing fine except for the annoying numbness. I'm sketchy about seeing a surgeon because I don't have insurance of any kind nor the bank account to pay for it all. I'm just hoping against hope there is no nerve damage and the fracture heals just fine but if this continues I guess I'm gonna have no choice but to go broke and find a surgeon
The SURAL nerve is what is damaged with severe breaks of the 5th Metatarsal. Make sure that you see a Neurologist podiatrist for surgery. If the nerve is simply impinged they can release it but if it has been damaged or severed like in my case they will have to amputate it. Good Luck