CUH Logo

Mobile menu open

Avulsion fracture fifth metatarsal base

Patient information A-Z

What is an avulsion fifth metatarsal fracture?

The fifth metatarsal is the long thin bone that runs along the outside of the foot Occasionally a small piece/ flake of bone may be pulled off where the ligament attaches to the bone if the foot is twisted inwards. These are minor fractures and are stable, so you will not need a plaster cast. You may be given a supportive boot to wear for up to six weeks.

An X-ray of a foot with an arrow pointing to an avulsion fracture on the fifth metatarsal base
Avulsion fracture fifth metatarsal base

Swelling pain and bruising at the fracture site is normal. Regular pain killers and applying ice to the area, wrapped in a tea towel, will help to reduce swelling and pain. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes three to four times a day.

  • You should take pain killers as needed to keep pain levels under control.
  • You should use ice, wrapped in a tea towel and elevate your ankle to bring swelling down.
  • You should wear supportive footwear as recommended, this can be removed at night and resting.
  • You should weight bear as the pain allows in walking boot.
  • You should gently start to move ankle as pain allows. This will prevent stiffness.
  • You should not take part in any physical/ contact sports which may put you at risk at further injury. The time frame for this will be discussed with you at the point of assessment.
  • You should not drive whilst wearing the walking boot as you will void your insurance should you have an accident.

A boot is usually given following this injury; you may be required to wear this for up to six weeks unless otherwise directed. Crutches may also be required in the early stages to alleviate pressure on the foot.

If your condition is not improving, or if your pain relief is not adequate, please contact your GP. If your condition is worsening, call the multi-professional fracture clinic on 01223 348299 or 01223 257095.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151