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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can spiral fractures of the fifth metatarsal on the feet be treated with surgery?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15837 Questions

Posted on Fri, 30 Nov 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I have a spiral fracture of the fifth metatarsal on left foot. I've been in a cast for six weeks and no healing on X-ray and pain still at break site. Can they go ahead and fix with surgery? I'm a caregiver and I walk five miles a day. I'm sixty years old and have RA and Osteoporosis but in good health. I weigh 118 lbs and I'm 5'4" tall. What do you think?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 24 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Surgery is definitely an option

Detailed Answer:


Part of treatment of fractures of the foot includes avoidance of weight-bearing activities which is difficult for you to do since you have to walk daily.

Fractures of the 5th metatarsal are classified according to the exact area of the bone where the injury occurs.

There is one type of fracture of this bone that heals poorly without surgery and surgery is usually eventually required (called the XXXXXXX fracture).

It is possible that you have this or a similar type of fracture. Since it has been more than 6 weeks and there is no evidence of healing then surgery is definitely an option.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 12 minutes later
I’m pretty sure this is XXXXXXX fracture. Bone is separated by 2mm but still connected by a small piece.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Definitely, surgery should be considered

Detailed Answer:


In the case of a XXXXXXX fracture, surgery should definitely be considered since there would be poor or delayed healing otherwise.

Displacement or widening of the fracture tends to occur with continued weight bearing if not repaired.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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