Broken 5th Metatarsal

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share my injury experience with everyone, mainly because when searching for things myself, I couldn't find much that was relevant!

I broke my 5th Metatarsal in my left foot on November 2nd, 2013. I was playing hockey (my other passion besides running) and was struck with the ball at some velocity. Immediately I knew something was not right as it was a pain like I've never experienced and I could barely put weight on it. I went off and iced and then found I could put no weight at all on it and it was swollen up like a balloon.

Naturally, I went to A&E and after an X-ray was told it was a comminuted fracture of my fifth metatarsal. In Lehman's terms, it was broken into a couple of pieces. However, they said it was a good location on the bone and should heal well.

I was in a cast for two weeks, which as anyone else who has been in one will tell you, is hell for someone who is sporty and active.

Anyway, I went back to have the cast off. The doctor looked at my foot, squeezed it a bit and said it would be fine and no further x-ray was necessary. He said to continue on the crutches for 1-2 weeks and start to bear weight when I felt comfortable - a very blasé and vague follow up, I thought!

I decided to stay on crutches for two weeks after to be sure I was giving myself the best chance. I'm now about to enter my sixth week and I am able to walk (hobble) around with next to no pain. I am unable to push off on the fore of my foot though, I think walking correctly may take another week or so. I thnk it's a combination of the healing still going on and the weakness of the muscles in my foot. I am staying off sport until January, depending on how it feels.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? I'd love to hear your stories. If not, I hope this helps someone else unfortunate enough to have an injury like this. My only matra would be: don't rush! Do things as and when you feel you're ready!


  • If anyone is interested, just so they can compare recovery times etc, I managed to get back to treadmill running around 7-8 weeks after the injury. Now, 11 weeks on, I am back to road running and hockey with very little discomfort and almost full strength.

  • HI all I would like to share my story...

     1st October whilst skipping in gym I land on foot sideways and I hear a snap sound! Hurts like hell but make way home, visit hospital next day as severe pain all night. No swelling or bruising So no x-ray ! told I have a partial tear of tendon and to go home and apply r.i.c.e.

    39 days later still not right so I revisit hospital who decided to x-ray it......then told  you have broken your 5th metatarsal image and will need operation to insert a screw and wear cast for 6 weeks

    I have been able to swim now since cast off and only this week it finally feels really strong but not able to run or MTB as of yet. 10 weeks of work as well image

    Not a nice injury to have folks





  • Tazdevil, that sounds particularly nasty! I can't believe they didn't x-ray you straight away. Hopefully your recovery won't be too affected from not acting straight away.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, but don't rush it once you get back on your feet. Listen to your body and be patient image

  • Seems like no one has broken one recently... I have and it hurts! Looking to hear some words of hope, grit and spit and sticking at-it-ness. :)

    Broke my 5th metatarsal 2 days ago, heading to fracture clinic tomorrow.
    I am hoping that I will still be able to run the Thames Path Challenge in Mid September.
  • Oh and I have had it xrayed at A&E but can not add to posts, will see if I can link it from my blog. who doe snot like looking at them!
  • ok, hope this works:
  • Afternoon all, I can't find a recent post so thought I'd hop in here. I fractured my 5th metatarsal (zone 1)4 days ago and I'm already going stir crazy. I have a aircast boot and a crutch for stability. Any advice much appreciated xx
  • Bernie, sympathies. I know about the stir crazy while injured. My best solution (during three periods of 2-6 months off running due to injuries) was volunteering at parkrun - you get outside, you're appreciated and you can contribute to running and talk running!

    ALSO: start swimming as soon as you are cleared to do so, and exercising on a stationary bike ditto. And check if you can do ankle exercises (pointing your foot up and down, circling it, etc.) to minimise development of joint stiffness.
  • broke mine mid September, four weeks in a rocker shoe that played havoc with my other hip, now back in normal boots/trainers but still limping and very protective of it, target is a parkrun early november but no idea if that's realistic, been volunteering as Debra suggests and using bike on turbo trainer
  • Done my 5th metatarsal (Jones Fracture) in October. Six weeks in an airboot. Further x-ray was then put in a cast. Then back another six weeks later. Still not too good but starting to heal. So put n a second cast Now the next six weeks are up tomorrow and hope for further healing and poss air boot again. Three months lost. Frustrating is an understatement. Never thought I would appreciate the gym so much. Helped with my sanity. For anyone who goes through this look online for I walk 2 aid. Removes crutches and gives you freedom. Roll on tomorrow.
  • I broke my 5th metetarsal 5 weeks ago while in the Dominican! Also...on my honeymoon. I lost my footing getting off one of the transport trolleys, rolled my ankle, heard a pop and saw the whole foot balloon up. I didn’t go to the hospital there. Instead I convinced myself it was a bad sprain and wrapped my foot and tied my sandals to it as a cast. 3 days later we were home and I went to the hospital where they confirmed it was broken. I’ve been in an air boot for 5 weeks now....I am so over it. I want to move in to a hard soles shoe but my foot still doesn’t feel normal. The instructions I was given was to either wear the boot or a hard soled shoe- however I don’t want to push it and end up having the injury last longer. For those that transitioned into a shoe from the boot, how did you know it was time? Did your foot still feel weird? I experience some mild pain but nothing severe. More so feels like a bee sting where it is broken. Thanks for listening to the vent! 
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