How does an avulsion fracture to the fifth metatarsal occur?
An avulsion fracture of the fifth metatarsal occurs where a tendon attaches to the bone at this point (the peroneus brevis tendon). When an avulsion fracture occurs, the tendon pulls off a tiny fragment of bone. These fractures are usually not badly out of place.
Avulsion fractures can be confused with other types of fractures to the fifth metatarsal bone. The most common problem is distinguishing this injury from a Jones fracture. The distinction is important, because treatment of these injuries is different.
What is the treatment of an avulsion fracture?
Treatment of avulsion fractures is usually accomplished with a walking cast or a walking boot. These protect the fracture site, but allow you to walk and place weight on the foot. The walking cast or boot is worn for about four to six weeks. Crutches are not usually needed for this injury, and surgery is seldom necessary.
- Dameron, TB "Fractures of the Proximal Fifth Metatarsal: Selecting the Best Treatment Option" J. Am. Acad. Ortho. Surg., Mar 1995; 3: 110 - 114.