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Broken my 5th metatarsal, should I walk on it?

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Old 5th March 2012, 09:16 AM
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Default Broken my 5th metatarsal, should I walk on it?

Hi there, I broke the bone at the base of the 5th metatarsal just under 3 weeks ago. They x-rayed it at the emergency department after I rolled my foot on the side at work, and they put me in a temporary cast for 2 weeks. I then saw a doctor and he gave me an 'aircast'.

Now I am wondering what exactly i'm meant to be doing with this thing! It's very bulky and hot and a bit smelly too! Anyway, the doctor said now i can try to walk but only using the aircast. And i asked whether i needed the crutches and he said yes until i can walk. And to walk as long as it wasn't painful.

But i'm still confused. Is it actually beneficial to walk on my injury using my aircast, or would it heal faster if i kept off it? I'm not one of these people that needs to be active every minute of the day so i'm ok just resting it if this will promote healing better. But at the same time if walking on it promotes healing better i will do that. What would you suggest?

Also is it advisable to sleep with the aircast on or off? The doctor again was quite vague about this. He said i could take it off. Then when i asked if it's better to leave it on he also said yes as you might get out of bed to go to the loo and forget i'd broken it. I thought i'm not going to forget i've broken my foot! So i said does it help it heal faster as it's supported and they said yes.

So i'm totally confused what to do really. To walk or not to walk, that is the question!
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Old 7th March 2012, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Broken my 5th metatarsal, should I walk on it?

Putting stress ie; weight-bearing with an air-cast in your case, actually helps your bones grow stronger(Wolff's Law). The added stress also helps soft tissue remold itself stronger. You also will not have as much atrophy from inactivity. If you have a lot of pain while walking with your air cast don't do it. It sounds as though you have an Avulsion Fracture. Ask your doctor questions if you don't understand them. I took to writing all my questions done on paper and bringing them into the doctor so that she could answer them and I wouldn't forget them.
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Old 12th March 2012, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Broken my 5th metatarsal, should I walk on it?

Thanks. Yes i think it is an avulsion fracture as i'm allowed to part weight bear. He didn't say specifically though.

Well today it's been just under 4 weeks since the break and I decided to ditch the crutches and walk to tescos unaided. It seemed to go ok, i felt a little nag, but on the whole it didn't really hurt. I hope i'm not damaging it by doing this though, but it did feel great to be able to do some shopping at last! I hope after the 6 weeks is up i can go get rid of the aircast completely and walk as normal. I'm sick of it all now!
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Old 29th November 2012, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Broken my 5th metatarsal, should I walk on it?

i have an avulsion fracture of the 5th metatarsal which occured whilst playing football. I opted not to wear the boot offered by the doc and have continued to wear the usual footwear. They are obligued to recommend the boot but talking off the record with specialists the evidence is inconclusive of whether the boot adds any real value to the healing process. My thoughts are that total immobility of any joint will lead to muscle and ligament deteriation. The boot in my opion is a protection mechanism and provided you are extremely careful is not alway necessary. Aching pain is usually first thing in the morning and sometimes at the end of the day when the joint has been inactive for more than 10 minutes. I do avoid putting weight on the outside of the foot and try to keep the stress on the 5th metatarsal to a minimum. Its been one week now and ive seen a distinct improvement with full mobility of the joint and only occasional aching. the day after the injury i was in the gym doing squats and upper body weights once again avoiding pressure on the outside of the foot. Im hoping for a 3-4 week recovery and back playing football again 1st January 2013
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