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Metatarsal Fractures

Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers

Podiatrists located in Clinton Township, MI & Sterling Heights, MI

Fractures in the metatarsal bones of your feet — the long bones in your midfoot that connect to your toes — are very common, especially in the fifth metatarsal on the outside edge of your foot. At Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers with multiple locations in Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, and Mount Clemens, Michigan, the expert podiatrists diagnose metatarsal fractures and offer expert treatment to ensure your bones heal correctly. If you’re concerned about a metatarsal fracture or have foot pain, call Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers or make an appointment online today.

Metatarsal Fractures Q&A

What are metatarsal fractures?

Your metatarsal bones are the long, thin bones in your midfoot, and there are two types of fractures that affect these delicate bones. 

Stress fractures

Stress fractures are tiny hairline cracks in your bones. They usually form following repetitive stress, for example, if you’re a runner and increase your speed or distance too quickly. You can also develop stress fractures if you have an abnormal foot structure or osteoporosis. Jones fractures are a type of stress fracture that affects the fifth metatarsal.

Acute fractures

Acute fractures usually stem from trauma, such as a direct blow or impact. They can result in the parts of the bone shifting out of place or a dislocation. For example, if you stub your toe severely or have a sports accident, you could suffer an acute fracture. An avulsion fracture is a type of acute fracture that occurs when a small piece of bone is pulled off the rest of the bone.

What are the signs of a metatarsal fracture?

If you have an acute fracture, you might hear a popping or snapping sound. Your toe might look crooked, and you develop bruising and swelling within 24 hours. Stress fractures cause pain that’s worse when you’re active, and the site of the stress fracture might be tender to touch. Stress fractures can also cause swelling but are less likely to cause bruising. 

Do I need to see a podiatrist for metatarsal fractures?

Yes, you need to see a podiatrist if you think you have a broken bone in your foot. It’s a myth that broken toes and stress fractures heal on their own. When left untreated, a metatarsal fracture could become more severe or cause a permanent deformity that affects your mobility. Untreated fractures can also lead to arthritis and chronic pain. Also, in most cases, metatarsal fractures are easily treated, but if you ignore the injury, you could end up needing surgery. 

What’s the treatment for metatarsal fractures?

The expert podiatrists provide customized treatments for metatarsal fractures. Depending on your condition, your podiatrist might recommend:

  • Rest
  • Avoiding activities that stress your feet, like running or sports
  • Immobilization with a cast or boot
  • Surgery


Ultimately, your metatarsals need time to heal, and you might benefit from physical therapy and rehabilitation to return to your regular activities quickly and safely.

Call Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers or make an appointment online today if you’re concerned about a metatarsal fracture.