Acute metatarsal fracture
Metatarsal fractures are grouped as stress fractures or acute fractures. Stress fractures occur from overuse (repetitive stress). Acute fractures (breaks) happen when a force exceeds the capacity of the bone to withstand it. An example of this would be a crush injury when you drop something on your foot or land on your foot awkwardly after jumping.
Metatarsals are five long bones in the foot just before the toes start. A fracture in this area can be acute or repetitive stress-related. Overuse is the cause of the stress fracture, while the acute fracture is caused by direct impact or pressure to the foot. An acute metatarsal fracture can occur from something falling on the foot, the foot being trodden on or injured during contact sport. Another cause can be a rapid twisting of the leg when the foot is stuck on the ground.
An acute metatarsal fracture will involve foot pain at the time of the injury. Swelling, a visible deformity and bruising will usually develop within the 24 hours after the injury. Often the person will not be able to weight bear (walk) on the involved foot. It is self-evident when this occurs. People will typically know when they have broken a metatarsal bone in the foot. The symptoms of stress fractures can be more subtle, but will also involve pain when walking or running.
The treatment for a metatarsal fracture will depend on its location and severity. Other factors will include age, comorbidities and the functional capacity of the individual. This will be a discussion to have with your chiropractor, physiotherapist and medical practitioner.