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Spiral fracture 5th metatarsal mid shaft

The following is my personal experience. None of which should be taken as advice or directions to help heal broken bones for anyone. Professional medical advice should always be sought when dealing with severe injuries.

6.5 weeks ago I tripped (toes rolled underfoot ballerina style) caught my balance on my 5th metatarsal. I did a great job fracturing it. The fracture itself is 1.18 inches long when seen from side view X-ray. Top view shows barely a sliver of bone displacement, meaning the bone is aligned well and I did not need surgery (phew).
Treatment to date: 3 weeks cast no weight bearing (Rent a Knee scooter if you are in this situation), 1 week walking boot with crutches, thus far 2.5 weeks walking boot at work, next 4 weeks boot at work but at home a little time out of boot is ok (I work retail on my feet about 9-10 hours a day). Female Age 43, heavy, drink some, smoke 0-5 cigs a day often ( though not so much if at all in first 4-6 weeks of healing). Dr. Recommended to take 1000 mg calcium + 1000 iu vitamin d per day I am following through. Also strive to limit processed foods & add lots of leafy greens to diet.

It is important to understand that foot fractures especially spiral/ mid shaft take time to heal. First the body has to clean up the broken pieces... I think that was what my week 3 X-ray showed. Then it will start to mend/merge the bone back together. At 6 weeks my X-ray showed a little white shadowing in the fracture gap. This is normal and I was grateful I did my homework while i was in the no wieght bearing stage or I might not have been so relaxed when given the news.

For me the initial pain was severe if I tried to apply weight on entire foot, but somewhat tolerable if I walked on my heal. I took pain meds intermittently for first couple weeks and not so much during weeks 4&5. Since I went back to work the pain has ranged from 0, slight discomfort, to "oh my god aargh!". 1st week back at work (5.5 weeks after injury) the bad pain started about 2 hours into my shift. Now 7 weeks after injury bad pain starts 4 hours in. I can't take NSAIDs for medical reasons so hydrocodone is what I take. I try not to take them but in order to be able to do what is expected of me at a reasonable pace without suffering significantly I take 4-5 pills of 7.5/325 a day. I can't wait to be off the meds. *i found that wrapping foot tightly in ace bandage is vital to limit discomfort*.

It seems oft times orthopedic specialists don't have much time to spend with patients (be aware they are reviewing charts and notes from nurses before seeing you so dont hold back when talking to them) . Also I didn't know what I wanted to have answered when I was in my appointments (writing out questions before my visits seemed to help me get the info i wanted). Before returning to work I chose to see my podiatrist and get more information And answers just to ease my mind. . I have pretty good insurance which made that easier. My main concern was returning to work with the fracture still so separated. I think they said about 3-5 weeks in the bone is "tacky" and working toward reconnecting and often times (not always) walking on it in proper footwear with proper support can help the healing process. Something was mentioned about calluses being built up which made sense but I can't even try to explain.

I wrote this because when I was searching for info. Online about this I hoped for detailed experiences. I hope someone someday finds this useful. Again this is just my experience. If you are reading this with a broken foot I wish you speedy good healing! Rest a lot, consider calcium, ask for help!! Be patient.

My best to you!
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First Helper Cheshirelass
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Users who thank 1205tripper for this post: silber  silber 

replied July 1st, 2013
So 16 weeks out...some days are totally pain free. Some have just random aches etc. but just 2 days ago after a solid 10 hours at work on my feet and a night with little sleep (ahhh summer minus central air yay) I rose to not solid footing. I was convinced it would pass and the day would be fine. I was wrong! I went to work and about an hour into my shift the pain got worse, And then worse I only had two pain pills on me so I took those two no avail... I put on the walking boot in an effort to help ease the discomfort yet The pain persisted. I had to go home and get the rest of my meds. I thought I was done needing the meds.

All I'm really trying to state is that even know you will make progress there will still be bouts of pain it's just normal. Hopefully you don't have to work on your feet like I do. My company absolutely accommodates me, They understand completely. Regardless I like to be productive while at work so I feel like deadweight when I have days like that. Of course then it is necessary to recuperate at home on my days off which hinders my ability to take care of the day to day chores.

Long story short don't fracture your fifth metatarsal. But if you do know that recovery is slow and setbacks happen. This too shall pass. I hope you're not reading this because you have a spiral fracture of the fifth metatarsal but if you are I hope this helped a little.
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replied August 2nd, 2013
Three weeks ago I fractured my right, fifth metatarsal. It's an oblique fracture. I've been in a hard boot and on crutches for the entire three weeks. Today I had follow up xrays done at my podiatrist's office. The xrays look just like the original ones taken at the ER. My doctor said I needed to have no weight bearing for four more weeks. Is this normal? It seems to me that there should be some healing going on after three weeks. He originally said only 3 to 4 weeks on crutches. Now it will be 7. Is there a chance that I'll need surgery to fix the fracture?
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replied October 4th, 2013
I am having a very similar experience. I have been in a non weight bearing cast for 4 weeks. Got an xray last night and it looks practically identical to the one I took after the initial fracture. Mine is a spiral fracture on the right 5th metatarsal. I was told 4 more weeks in a non weight bearing cast. I'm frustrated.
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replied August 4th, 2013
Hi, I thought I'd post this to add my experience for the possible benefit of others. I'm a 58yo male in good shape who 4 weeks ago missed the last step going down the stairs and broke his 5th metatarsal. My wife took me to Urgent Care where they xrayed and put a half cast on. 2 days later I saw the orthopedist. I glanced at the xrays and the break looked bad to me, but the doctor said it really wasn't that misaligned. He said "in the old days" they would do surgery for this, but that it would heal in 6 weeks with or without surgery so "did I want surgery?" Of course, I said I'd go the non-surgery route. He was in and out in literally 2 minutes. Next stop was the guy who fit me with a removable boot. Things were pretty much a blur and all I really remember was "only take the boot off for showering" and use your crutches, but obviously this is one of those walking type boots so I assumed I could walk if there was no pain.

For the first 2 weeks there was no question that I had to use the crutches as there would be increasingly severe pain as I lowered my foot and it swelled. I tried to avoid taking pain medicine, but did take a few vicodin and a few advils. For the first 3 weeks I slept with only the half cast on (couldn't stand the boot), but went back to work (after 3 days) on crutches which I tried to gradually use less and less as my foot stopped hurting. For the last week I've been walking with no pain in the boot and sleeping with nothing on the foot. My foot seems to be getting better and stronger so as of right now I'm 100% sure it's healing.

The problem is I've read all the horror stories on these forums and then I finally got my xrays from the medical records department. The xrays came on a CD with a special viewing program that actually allows you to measure distances on the xray. After studying my xrays for about an hour it was clear to me that I did not have just a "spiral fracture" but the bone is also broken into at lest 4 pieces and has significant compression (2mm) and displacement (4mm). My avatar pic shows the compression, but another view is needed to show the displacement.

So, in light of what others have said as well as other xrays I've seen online, I'm a bit concerned. Hopefully, when I go back to the doctor in a little less than 3 weeks I will be able to post a good news followup instead of another horror story. Good luck to all of you out there who have suffered this same injury!
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replied September 4th, 2013
Well, went back to the doctor and he said I was "laying down tremendous bone". Ok, sounds good. I'm walking more or less normally now without pain. It's been 8 weeks since the break.
The one bad thing is that the doctor said I might need surgery at a later date because of the boney bump (you can see it clearly in my xray) on the side of my foot. He said that he could go in through a small incision and smooth out the bump.
I do wonder, however, why no attempt was made to "set" the bone. I wonder if "setting a bone" is out of vogue with physicians these days??
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replied October 2nd, 2013
I slipped on my last step and flinched so hard, i did the karate chop to the door jamb with the top of my right, boney long foot, completely breaking the 5th Met. The clean break is mid-shaft and runs from the mid-top to mid-botton, so the break is like a lightening bolt, not straight across. Im on wk 12 and i have much to share. Do as your told! I was patience, did everything right for the first 6 wks. totally stayed off it, elevated, iced. Had to drive n have a clutch (5-speed), so since my right foot, got a driving boot so had to switch off n on boots(NOT fun). Wk 6 xray, a tiny calcifying, not what doc expected,nor i. Now depressed i was told to cont what i'm doin for another 3 wks. 7 wks started walking on it, (not what the doc ordered), but i couldn't stand it. Only time to time, not much. When i did, i kept weight on my heel n it didnt seem to hurt. STILL used the scooter when at ALL possible. I didnt use scootr at home but was VERY careful at home. Week 8 -Trying accupuncture, why not? 3 treatments, who knows... but chinese doc gave me 'jin Gu Die Da Wan' herbal supplement pills, said take 12 pills 3xday, yes 12! 3 times a day. 9 wk xray, HUGE improvement but if I want to be atheltic again and I do and heal well, cont to stay off! Continue to do the same. I seriously recommend accupunture and taking the supplemental i'm using. Next xray in 2 wks... should be scooter free, healing really well and a walking boot. I guess if you want to heal the best you can, than take the time. Good luck to you!!
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replied October 12th, 2013
It won't Heal!
So I'm a young and healthy 21 year old. Broke my 5th metatarsal 4 weeks ago. I am in college and am barely making it to classes with crutches. I do drive with the boot to get to school like 5 mins there and back. I broke it dancing when I jumped and landed on it wrong. Have been in a boot and no weight bearing since. I went for my 4 week checkup. He said he sees no healing at all. I was so upset. I have been taking Vitamin D and drinking lots of milk. My whole leg from my knee down is very very cold. Like compared to my other leg there is a noticeable difference. My mom(a nurse) was concerned. The doctor says he isn't concerned about it at all. The doctor threw out possible surgery because it isn't healing. I have a phobia with needles and medical things to the point that I had a panic attack and they had to lay me down because I pretty much fainted. He says that we will wait two more weeks to get to the 6 weeks mark and see if there is any healing. He thinks it is a slim chance though. At that point he said he thinks surgery would be an option. I want to avoid it at all costs. I don't want surgery. I read about people using those bone stimulators. I am hoping to get one and try that instead. I hope I can get one. I don't know why the doctor wouldn't prescribe something like that instead of screws and plates. I want and need a nonsurgical cure. I can't deal with this. Is it likely the bone stimulator would work??
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replied October 13th, 2013
Its a tough situation to be in...I too am at 9 weeks non weight bearing...it has only begun to make a significant difference in healing within the past 2 weeks. I have been taking multi-vitamins, calcium pills and changed my diet to lots of health foods...I think this really has helped...hopefully you will recover soon, I wish you the best I know how frustrating the whole experience is.
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replied January 1st, 2014
I saw a question about ex rays regarding "no change after 4weeks" ...in my experience and from all I read the answer is yes. In fact "no significant change in ex rays" is normal with this type of break. I googled about my injury a lot in my down time so I was not shocked.

Ask you doctor to explain the bone growth process to further understand why the ex ray looks almost identical. Your bone is likely healing, but it takes time. The bone builds from the inside out. I am no doctor, but little change in the ex ray is very much the norm after 4 or even 6 weeks. It will get better it just takes time.

I broke mine in march and I think It took at least 4-5 months to feel relatively normal. Everyone is different though. Good luck and best wishes for good healing!
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replied February 10th, 2014
4th metatarsal stress fracture (3x and now surgury)
I had a stress fracture about 9 months ago in my 4th metatarsal, the xray showed some bone still joined so they put me in a cast for 6 weeks then i slowly returned to rugby, after about 5 months it happened again, cracked worse this time. again they put me in an aircast for 6 weeks, then told me it was healed so i went back to slow training but it didnt feel right, i had my comeback game a futher 8 weeks after the doctor told me i could go back playing, in the warm up.... it happened again. i was devastated thinking that my career was over. absolutely gutted. so, back in to the hospital, we went private this time as my father has completely had enough and at 23 years old i shouldnt be having these problems, i take my rugby very seriously and still striving to play at the highest level i can. so all of this was quite depressing. We now have the best orthopedic surgeon in south wales looking at it, my CT scan showed a clean break which would never of healed without surgery. he said he is going to need to take a bone graft from my hip, put it between the break as the bone sealed it self off and basically stopped healing.... and then either pin it or plate it depending on how it looks. he thinks im very unlucky, but hopefully will have the operation on thursday and then can start rehab. But overall it has basically written me out of work (estate agent) and out of any kind of sport for almost 9 months.... hopefully I can get it sorted for good this time. apparently the bone will actually heal stronger ones the operation and recovery is complete.

Smile

has anybody had anything similar or can relate? give advice?

thanks.


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replied February 27th, 2014
5th metatarsal broken... 3.5 weeks in.
Thank you 1205tripper for the post! This is exactly what people needed. It is hard to find good info about this type of fracture. It's nice to hear other people's real experiences.

I am a 28 year old female. Average size. Average height. I broke my left 5th metatarsal 3.5 weeks ago. I fell down in my kitchen. My foot violently twisted sideways. It is broken all the way through the bone diagonally and kind of spiral also. It's a long fracture. The X-ray looked pretty bad to me. But not displaced thank god.

The doctor said it was up to me if I wanted a hard cast or not. So I decided no. I have a huge heavy clunky walking boot (I hate it). The doctor told me that I didn't need to wear it to bed or if I am just lounging on the recliner(so I don't). The boot causes me to have more pain so I only wear it if I am up and about on my crutches. I have been sitting here on the recliner 90% of the time these past 3.5 weeks. It's even my temporary bed. Two ace bandages help make it feel less painful. Not too tight though... I have still not put any weight on my foot since I broke it.

The 2nd x-ray was 3 weeks after. It does not look any different to me. Still broken... The doctor said he sees signs that it is healing. He wants me to start trying to put a little weight on it sometimes! Completely disagree with him! My body is telling me not to push it. My foot needs more rest. My next x-ray is at the 5 week mark. Fingers crossed.

I also stand for 8.5 hours a day at my job. Luckily, they have been very understanding so far. Haven't worked a single day since it happened. I want to be very cautious about this. My feet are so important and necessary to me. Yes, It's extremely frustrating sitting here all the time. Thank god for my husband helping me. Hopefully, all this sitting will have been worthwhile in the end...

Good luck everyone!
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replied March 5th, 2014
NO, do not put weight on it yet. 3.5 weeks is not even close to enough time for healing. I fractured my 5th metatarsal in mid-December 2013 at the base, and had an 'orthotic moon boot' put on. NEVER in the 11.5 weeks that I wore this boot did I ever risk putting full weight on the foot without the boot. I even wore it to bed, because I have to go to the toilet at least once during the night, and also I was afraid that by moving around in bed, that my foot could have 'subconscious' pressure put on it which might cause a problem. today, I got the go ahead that my foot is 100% healed, and I will have some physiotherapy, as per my orthopedic surgeon's prescription. You have to BABY your broken foot, and be patient enough to let it heal. The average time for the 5th meta to heal is about 12 weeks. Good luck.
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replied March 5th, 2014
I have a spiral fracture on the left 5th metatarsal. I slid on something on the dance floor Jan 2. It will be 9 weeks tomorrow and so thankful I found this forum...but so depressing to read about healing time. I'm in an aircast and 7 weeks with no weight. I was told I could add pressure, no weight, now. The first day my foot swelled terribly so I stayed off it for a couple days. Now I am only adding pressure for a little bit each day. I don't want to chance doing any more damage! I feel like I'm glued to the couch, here all day and sleep here at night, I use the arm of the couch to support my foot. I can't find a comfortable spot in my bed.
I've had 3 x-rays that don't look any different. I'm hoping when I go again in 2 more weeks there will be some change.
I'm a dance instructor....looking like it will be a long time before I dance again.
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replied March 5th, 2014
NO, do not put weight on it yet. 3.5 weeks is not even close to enough time for healing. I fractured my 5th metatarsal in mid-December 2013 at the base, and had an 'orthotic moon boot' put on. NEVER in the 11.5 weeks that I wore this boot did I ever risk putting full weight on the foot without the boot. I even wore it to bed, because I have to go to the toilet at least once during the night, and also I was afraid that by moving around in bed, that my foot could have 'subconscious' pressure put on it which might cause a problem. today, I got the go ahead that my foot is 100% healed, and I will have some physiotherapy, as per my orthopedic surgeon's prescription. You have to BABY your broken foot, and be patient enough to let it heal. The average time for the 5th meta to heal is about 12 weeks. Good luck.
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replied March 5th, 2014
NO, do not put weight on it yet. 3.5 weeks is not even close to enough time for healing. I fractured my 5th metatarsal in mid-December 2013 at the base, and had an 'orthotic moon boot' put on. NEVER in the 11.5 weeks that I wore this boot did I ever risk putting full weight on the foot without the boot. I even wore it to bed, because I have to go to the toilet at least once during the night, and also I was afraid that by moving around in bed, that my foot could have 'subconscious' pressure put on it which might cause a problem. today, I got the go ahead that my foot is 100% healed, and I will have some physiotherapy, as per my orthopedic surgeon's prescription. You have to BABY your broken foot, and be patient enough to let it heal. The average time for the 5th meta to heal is about 12 weeks. Good luck.
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replied July 1st, 2014
Thank you all for posting here! I'm in the same boat as you guys...third week now of a fifth metatarsal fracture that happened while playing a five-minute game of basketball with my son. I literally picked up the ball, shot it and came down wrong on my foot. Sad I'm 40 but in excellent shape - I run half-marathons and hike every weekend with my boyfriend (or did). It is killing me being this stuck and yeah, you all have confirmed my worst fear - this takes a TON of time to heal and may not ever heal properly without surgery. Sad It has been VERY helpful to read that you all have varying degrees of pain, also...this has been such a big question for me as there's not tons of info...and YES, I've had the same experience with my ortho not really answering questions or giving much info! All we can do is hope for the best...so glad I found this page! Good luck, all!
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replied August 8th, 2014
I had a spiral break of the 5th met and opted for surgery even though the bone was not displaced. 2 days after the break had the surgery and they wired and screwed the bone together. 4 weeks later and im still in a plaster cast. I had an xray today and Dr told me the bone is not displaced but its still fractured and to come back in two weeks. What does that mean? Im beginning to wonder if the surgery was a waste. by the time I go back I would have been NWB for 6 weeks. This plaster cast is heavy and awkward and I have dermatitis from sweating underneath it. When I get my cast changed my foot is very skinny and it doesn't hurt one bit. I wonder if I should get a second opinion about getting into a walking cast. I have an active toddler and this is really becoming unbearable.
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replied September 3rd, 2014
I have learned a lot from these posts. I am very active, do a lot of walking, dancing and other exercise. During dancing I did a jump; that may have caused the break. Probably shouldn't have done it, I'm no youngster. I have a spiral 5th metatarsal break in my right foot. Three months ago I was misdiagnosed in the ER. They said I had an ankle sprain and wrapped my ankle, told me I can walk and to see an ortho or podiatrist. Until my follow-up appt. I walked on the foot not knowing it was broken. The fracture separated a little. The podiatrist had me wear a cast for six weeks. Since it's been off I have been wearing a boot, about two weeks now. There has been improvement, and the doctor does not think I will need surgery. But I'm concerned after something that happened today. My husband took out the garbage but he was careless. When he passed by me the pail hit my broken foot (and I am upset about it.) After 11 weeks without going out to enjoy the beautiful summer, I am hoping my foot is healing. This incident has me upset, though, obviously trying not to quarrel or be angry at him and get too worried. I am so tired of sitting home, going stir crazy and using the walker. The farthest I've been is my front porch. I hope the next x-ray shows some improvement and not a setback from today.
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replied January 8th, 2015
I am so happy to find I forum where I feel I fit. I broke my 5th Metatarsal on my right foot on December 9th. Jumped up to reach something in the top of the closet and just came down wrong. I heard a loud noise and assumed maybe I landed on something. The pain took my breath away but I thought I had just sprained my ankle. I started to ice and then noticed a bruise and a little bit of swelling right below my pinky toe. I was able to walk putting my weight on the left side of my foot. On the 10th I decided I should probably get it checked out so I scheduled an appointment at the Doctors office. When I went he felt my foot and asked some questions. It really didn't hurt all that bad, but I was surprised it barely hurt when he started touching it asking if it hurt. He told me that I could walk on it and that I wouldn't do any more damage but that it would probably hurt. He then sent me to get an xray. I told the xray tech I was sure it wasn't broken since I had never had a broken bone and it didn't hurt all that much. He said he couldn't discuss the xray with me but that he would let me have a look and I could decide for myself. What I saw was a diagonal break, all the way through, from the top to the bottom of the shaft of my 5th Metatarsal. I went back to the Doctor and told him the results. I then asked. "Do you still think it wont do any damage to walk on it?" He gave me a referral to a specialist and said I should wait to talk to him about it. Went in to see the specialist the next day and he wrapped it in an ace bandage, which he said the sole purpose of that was to get the swelling down. He sent me home and told me I could move my foot around but the only thing I could not do was walk on it or drive. He said I was fine to stand while showering. We set an appt for 4 weeks out and I spent those 4 weeks on crutches. Unforunately I work as a food server 10 hours a day, so now I am completely out of work. I went back for my second appt after 4 weeks and we talked for 20 minutes. He told me he was sure it was healed and that I could go back to work the next day. Said it might hurt to walk but that as long as it had started healing it wouldn't do anymore damage. I think that discussion should have happened after he took the xray because once we looked at the xray he realized it hadn't started healing at all. So then he told me to continue to be non weight bearing and come back in 3-4 weeks. That was 2 days ago. Everyone is telling my I should be in a cast or having surgery. I called the Doctor back to ask some more questions and he did decide to have me use a bone stimulator. He said in his 41 years he has never seen this bone not heal. So hopefully in a few days I will be able to start the therapy and when I go back in 3 weeks we will see some healing. He said that if we don't see any progress he will still put me in a boot and have me start walking and we will see how things go. I'm really hoping I am doing the right thing by just letting this heal by itself. I know I will be doing some therapy but the point of going to the doctor was to make sure that I got this thing fixed correctly so I don't end up with life long problems because of it. I'm thankful for the information I've received on this site. If anyone has any thoughts on how effective the bone stimulator is that would be great. I was just able to change my insurance from a $5000 deductible to $2600, but the stimulator itself costs $2600. Also what does something like this end up costing. I pay $2600 out of pocket and then my insurance pays 50% up to $6350, then they pay 100%, just wondering what kind of money we are talking about when this is all said and done.
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replied April 3rd, 2015
Broken mid shaft 5th Metatarsal
Hi I'm not sure whether you all all in the USA or not but here is my experience so far in the UK national health system! 6 weeks ago I tripped on the stairs and as my foot turned over sideways my bone snapped, a horrible noise! I went straight to A & E and the x ray showed a mid shaft 5th metatarsal diagonal break that was slightly displaced. The displacement was not enough to need surgery. The orthopaedic consultant gave me a surgical shoe and a pair of crutches and when I asked if I could weight bear he said yes and I would know how much I could by any pain I felt. I have managed in the surgical shoe and went straight back to my teaching job. Yesterday I had my 6 week check up at the hospital and further x rays. Well they looked the same to me! I was so disappointed. The consultant looked at them and said he could see some new bone was forming on one side of the break. He then discharged me and told me to start weaning myself off my surgical shoe and into a normal shoe. He said I wouldn't be able to run or walk on uneven terrain or I could end up back at square 1. I went out last night for the first time in 6 weeks in 2 matching flat shoes! it was wonderful, sore at times but not as bad as I was expecting. I'm not sure if this helps anyone out there who is experiencing the same thing but here in the UK it all seems to be very laid back with a bone break!! I'm 52 years old and love walking and sport.
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replied January 24th, 2016
Also in UK and NHS. Almost 2 weeks ago I put my foot down heavily, partly on bathroom scales and partly on the floor. Left hand side of foot seemed to fold downwards...ouch! I elevated and iced and took some painkillers.

After a couple of days I was much improved and was soon almost pain free and walking normally in my good walking shoes.

Then I put my foot down a bit awkwardly again, increasing pain so to A and E. Spiral fracture of 5th metatarsal. Clear to see on xray, like a sideways splinter hanging off. As I had been load-bearing was advised I did not need a cast but a Darth Vader boot, well, that is what it looks like to me and no mention of crutches.

I am 68, have osteoporosis. Was told I must have high pain threshold, which I don't but the pain is nothing like as bad as when I cracked my ankle bone.

Reading this forum tells me it is going to be a slow process, that doesn't cheer me up but knowing is helpful. May not be doing West Highland Way walk in May. But will be able to let osteoporosis consultant know I have had another fracture. Not sure if I should wear boot at night or not, did not think to ask.
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replied March 8th, 2016
Eight week up-date. When I saw the fracture clinic (?3 weeks after the break, ?10 days after the x-ray and diagnosis) they said that this type of break usually heals quickly and I no longer had to wear the boot all the time. I immediately stopped wearing it at night. By six weeks I had stopped wearing it all the time indoors, at seven weeks I started driving again. Now "summer" walking boots or firm shoes and walks of over a mile. A little achy after that, still avoiding sudden heavy footfalls. Also have exercises and reassurance from (private) physio. Will not be x-rayed again until June when I see consultant about further osteoporosis treatment. Happy with my progress.
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replied August 30th, 2015
Thanks, 1205tripper. Very helpful to read everyone's posts. I broke my 5th metatarsal 2 weeks ago. Hurt like hell and I thought for sure I'd broken a bone but it started to feel OK after icing it. I walked on it for 1 week but then felt a bump sticking out where the bone was supposed to be straight and thought I should get a X-Ray.

Sure enough - the X-Ray technician called me over to see the break, then called the doctor to see it immediately. She said she thought I needed surgery.

Not being very fond of the idea, I sought a second opinion. I asked for a copy of the X-Rays and met with a friend podiatrist who said in this case it was both a "Jones" and spiral fracture with displacement and shortening of the toe. He said I'd probably need a screw, pin and maybe even a plate.

So much for avoiding surgery. I had read that in 50% of the cases of this, people need surgery. So I scheduled surgery after the weekend, went to a church camp wearing the air-inflated boot and waled around, still w/o pain, even managing to dance on it.

Monday was surgery, I was prescribed Percocet. It has made me drowsy and nauscious (sp?) even days later. The second night in bed with my foot wrapped tightly, I had a burning tingling sensation around everywhere it was wrapped. Apparently, the nerves go crazy from the "tourniquet" wrapping and I did not contract a staff infection at the hospital Smile as I feared (the guy down the exam rooms had a case of MRSA - antibiotic- resistant staff infection.)

here is my Xray if clickable:
[image link removed]/file/d/0B0Rt0mdIRIiTUlo4SUg3VEYxe DA/view?usp=sharing

Went to see the doctor, also not very forthcoming about anything, 3 days after surgery. They took X-Rays, which I haven't seen yet but want to, and he removed the wrapping and replaced with looser wrapping, told me to continue to stay off it for at least 3 weeks.

Off the Percocet now and feeling much better. Took Tylenol PM last night and slept through the night pretty well for the first time. Been raising my foot with pillows, making sure not to put pressure on the heel, sleeping on either my back or 1 side. My leg is getting skinny!

What I learned:
Research on bone healing and what a "callus" in this context is:
http://www.hughston.com/hha/a.fracture.htm

Use your instincts. I felt pretty certain I had broken my bone but listened to others who kept telling me, well, if it was broken, you wouldn't be able to walk on it w/o a lot of pain.

Do your research - I wouldn't have had an Xray if I hadn't read about the 50% chance I'd need surgery.

I've read that surgery, in the case it's recommended, heals faster in many cases, and reduces later complications of non-surgery route.

Percocet constipates you.

Let others help you.

Getting around on crutches is difficult - sore muscles, hands, risky for slipping, falling, re-injuring. Get a knee scooter for getting around. You won't be able to do many normal things balancing on one foot.

Research your non-drug options for pain management. Read about using NSAIDs.

Ask questions. My doctor had 0 bedside manner. I know he does this surgery often, since it's a pretty typical type of break - but realize it's the first bone I'VE ever broken and a huge impact on my life as a single wage-earning mother of two.

And it sounds like being patient is key, here. Can't wait to get back to hiking, dancing and just getting around in about 3-4 months.

I hope this helps others who are somewhere in the process of researching if they have a break, need surgery and are healing. Wishing everyone who reads this a speedy recovery.
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