Fifth metatarsal fractures in the athlete: evidence for management

Foot Ankle Clin. 2013 Jun;18(2):237-54. doi: 10.1016/j.fcl.2013.02.005.


Shortest time to union, and to return to sporting activity, are the goals of management of fifth metatarsal fractures in the athlete. Whereas zone 1 injuries are largely treated conservatively, zone 2 and 3 injuries are best treated with surgical fixation in athletes, most commonly with intramedullary screw fixation. Fixation with the addition of bone graft has also yielded good results. In the chronic setting, good results have been shown with intramedullary screw fixation, surgical debridement and bone grafting alone, and tension band wiring. Shock wave therapy and pulsed electromagnetic fields may have a place in chronic and acute injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes*
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods*
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Fractures, Stress / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Metatarsal Bones / injuries*
  • Metatarsal Bones / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome