Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Broken Bones Forum

Foot bone break, post cast recovery?

My girlfriend had a 5th metatarsal break in her foot. She had it in a cast for 6 weeks (non weight bearing). It's now been out of a cast for about 3 weeks now. She can now walk on both feet, but after walking for a while it gets very swollen (accompanied with some pain), but resides after elevating it.

How can she reduce the swelling, and what can she do to get it back to normal ASAP? Exercises, diets, prescriptions, etc.
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic

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replied September 6th, 2011
Especially eHealthy

Unfortunately, mother nature tends to work at her own rate.

If the swelling is what is bothering her the most, the best thing to do it to wear support stocking while she is up and about. These can be the type you get at a pharmacy called TED hose, or just the regular support stockings that patients wear to help reduce lower extremity edema.

True, they may not be real fashionable, but they work.

The problem is that the low pressure systems of the venous and lymphatic systems need muscle contractions to help pump the edema back into the core. When immobilized and/or not using the muscles as much as usual because of an injury, the edema accumulates in the most dependent position.

So, compression and muscle actions, will help pump that edema back into the body. It will take some time for the body to get back to its status quo. You have to also remember, that not just the bone is broken, but the soft tissues around the area and also damaged; muscles torn off attachments, tendons stretched, etc. So, they all have to heal and get back into shape also.

Work on range of motion, then stretching, and finally strengthening. It will take some time, but it will come. Hang in there. Good luck.
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