5th Metatarsal Fracture | Physio4Life

5th Metatarsal fracture

<   Back








5th Metatarsal fracture

Avulsion Fracture following an ankle sprain.






The most common type of injury to the 5th metatarsal, it occurs as a tendon is placed under so much stress that it comes off the bone taking some fragments of the bone with it.  This is very common among dancers, gymnasts and games players.


The long bones in your foot are where your toes begin.  The outermost one in your foot is called the ‘5th metatarsal’.  This is a common site for this type of fracture especially following an ankle sprain in which your foot rolls outwards (a lateral ankle sprain). One of the small muscles that originates in your shin and travels down into your foot attaches via a tendon to the 5th metatarsal bone.  A sprain of the ankle will place it under great strain and the muscle will always try to contract to help bear this strain.  Due to the traumatic and violent nature of an ankle sprain, the muscle can pull away from the bone and this causes the type of factor known as an ‘avulsion fracture’.





– Pain and swelling and likely bruising

– Loss of ankle function

– Significantly impaired ability to walk.

– Pain can be very pronounced when walking or weight bearing, but will ease quickly with rest possibly leaving a dull ache over the site of the injury.





Clinical questioning on the nature of the injury and how the pain has progressed.


Clinical examination to assess ankle movement and power in both non weight bearing and weight bearing (if able).  The extent of nerve and ligament involvement should also be assess at this point.


X-Ray will help to highlight the fracture site, but if it is a very new fracture, the X-Ray may well miss it.  If this is the case, an MRI or bone scan may be more appropriate. Your doctor will ultimately decide which scan to have.







– Immobilisation (4-6 weeks) to promote healing of the damaged bone tissue.  In most cases, this will be done with an air cast boot so you can still walk around on the foot.

– Pain medication

– Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

– Physiotherapy for exercise as the healing progresses.  Strength and balance exercises will help return the joint back to fitness.  Manual therapy will help reduce any stiffness of the muscles and the surrounding joints.










Ready to book an appointment with Physio4Life?

To book an appointment please follow the link below to our online booking page.

Book Online