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Metatarsals are the long bones in the forefoot. There are five in each foot, one leading up to each toe and forming the metatarso-phalangeal (MTP) joints with the phalanges (toe bones) at the base of each toe.
Symptoms of a metatarsal fracture will include acute foot pain the the point of trauma or impact. They may be rapid swelling and the athlete will be unable to weight bear. A visible deformity in the foot may be noticed and bruising will usually develop within 24 hours.
Metatarsal fractures can be either an acute fracture or a stress fracture. They can be fractured through impact for example a vicious football stud (acute fracture), or through a more gradual onset, where repetitive impact causes a stress fracture.
This is a fracture to the metatarsal bone caused by some kind of violent impact. Often something is dropped on the foot or the foot might be stamped on. Alternatively, a violent twisting or turning motion at the ankle may cause a fracture in the 5th metatarsal in particular. These can include an avulsion fracture, where the tendon of the Peroneus Brevis muscle pulls a piece of the bone away. Or a Jones fracture which occurs at the base of the 5th metatarsal. This area typically has a poor blood supply and so healing may be affected.
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