Metatarsal stress fractures cause pain with activity, and may lead to swelling and even pain at rest. If a stress fracture is not allowed adequate time to heal, the fracture may become complete and need more significant treatment, perhaps surgery.
When looking for a metatarsal stress fracture, your doctor will look at X-rays. X-rays may not show the injury, but rather evidence of a stress fracture trying to heal. A bone scan or MRI may be obtained. Treatment of a stress fracture is rest and possibly a cast.