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Fifth metatarsal fracture: Treatment options depending on the location of injury
A fifth metatarsal fracture is a break of the most lateral of the metatarsals (long bones in the foot). This bone, located on the outside of the foot, is commonly fractured in older patients.
A fracture of certain parts of the fifth metatarsal, such as the midshaft of the bone or at the base of the bone, can be treated without surgery in a boot or wide shoe.
Younger athletes often break this bone at the junction between the base and midshaft, where the blood supply is tenuous. A fracture in this location is often called a Jones fracture. This area has a high rate of nonunion if the fracture is treated without surgery in a running or jumping athlete. The surgeon usually places a screw down the center of the bone to compress the fracture and get it to heal.
Through the stories of a dozen athletes whose injuries and recovery advanced the field (including Joan Benoit, Michael Jordan, Brandi Chastain, and Tommy John), Dr. Geier explains how sports medicine makes sports safer for the pros, amateurs, student-athletes, and weekend warriors alike.