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Broken 5th metatarsal - what now?
9/21 15:02:25

I am a 52 year old woman who broke her 5th metatarsal 10 days ago.  It is a displaced fracture, but I can't remember if it is 2-3 mm or 3-4 mm.  The ER doctor phoned the ortho doctor after the initial x-ray to see if it needed a pin because the break is near the joint.  In seeing the x-ray, the break is at the bottom of the "bulb" at the base of the 5th metatarsal, with the break going up into the bulb.  There is actually more than one break right there.  BTW the ortho is not in the same town (I live in a small town).  The ortho wanted it casted and a followup x-ray in a week.  Well, it's been a week and I can't find out anything -- my doctor is away and the nurse told me when I called that no pin was needed because it hasn't shifted.  The ortho was not consulted again after the 2nd x-ray.  I am NWB at the moment -- and I have no choice anyway as the position of my foot when casted doesn't allow WB (I'd be walking on the tips of my toes as my heel is higher than my toes in the cast).  I do have an appointment with my GP on Monday now to get these questions answered, and he's good about answering, but I am wondering if I should ask him to refer me to an ortho, or whether I am worrying for nothing ... I was told I could get it recasted in a better position, and get another x-ray then, but putting weight on it wouldn't affect how it heals.  Is this good advice or should I ask for an ortho consult?

This Chicago, South Loop & Elmhurst Orthopedic Podiatrist of says.......

Dear Lori,

I don't have the x-rays and this is not a second opinion regarding the fracture of your fifth metatarsal.
That said-Unless your are very athletic is probably wiser to wait a few weeks and see if any healing occurs of your fifth metarsal.
These metatarsal fractures either heal or require surgery to heal-You should know in about 3-4 weeks after the injury.
If no healing occurs-then ask for the ortho consult-or if you don't feel warm and fuzzy-get the opinion sooner-Do not leave the opinion to your GP-They are not experts of the foot & ankle-Surgical podiatrists are!
A podiatrist submits 75 cases to be board certified in foot & ankle surgery. A GP-none. An orthopedist-about 10-12 cases-Unless he/she did a fellowship in foot & ankle surgery.
You cannot make it better without surgery. And since you are not a professional athlete-see if it heals without surgery at this point.
Limit walking-any movement of the fracture will delay healing.
Hope This Helps!
Good Luck!
The podiatrists of are specialists in foot & ankle fractures.
We are located in Chicago & Elmhurst

Dr George Tsatsos & Svetlana Zats
Podiatrist Chicago 60618 & Elmhurst 60126 Podiatrists
Board Certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery & Orthopedics
New South Loop Location-Chicago 60661

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