Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Giant's Hakeem Nicks Fractures Foot

New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks fractured his right foot during team training last month. Nicks fractured his foot during individual runs. Surgery was done on his fifth metatarsal, which consists of placing a screw in the broken bone and allowing the fracture time to heal. It is expected he will be out another two months.
Fractures are common in the fifth metatarsal- the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the little toe. Two types of fractures that often occur in the fifth metatarsal are:
  • Avulsion fracture. In an avulsion fracture, a small piece of bone is pulled off the main portion of the bone by a tendon or ligament. This type of fracture is the result of an injury in which the ankle rolls. Avulsion fractures are often overlooked when they occur with an ankle sprain.
  • Jones fracture. Jones fractures occur in a small area of the fifth metatarsal that receives less blood and is therefore more prone to difficulties in healing. A Jones fracture can be either a stress fracture (a tiny hairline break that occurs over time) or an acute (sudden) break. Jones fractures are caused by overuse, repetitive stress, or trauma. They are less common and more difficult to treat than avulsion fractures. 
Other types of fractures can occur in the fifth metatarsal. Examples include mid-shaft fractures, which usually result from trauma or twisting, and fractures of the metatarsal head and neck.
Avulsion and Jones fractures have the same symptoms. These include:
  • Pain, swelling, and tenderness on the outside of the foot.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Bruising may occur.
Anyone who has symptoms of a fifth metatarsal fracture should see a podiatrist as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. To arrive at a diagnosis, the podiatrist will ask how the injury occurred or when the pain started. The foot will be examined, with the doctor gently pressing on the different areas of the foot to determine where there is pain.
The podiatrist will also order X-rays. Because a Jones fracture often does not show up on a X-ray, additional imaging tests may be ordered.
Until you are able to see a podiatrist, the R.I.C.E. method of care should be performed. The podiatrist may use one of these non-surgical options for treatment of a fifth metatarsal fracture:
  • Immobilization. Depending on the severity of the injury, the foot is kept immobile with a cast, cast boot, or stiff-soled shoe. Crutches may also be need to avoid placing weight on the injured foot.
  • Bone stimulation. A pain-free external device is used to speed the healing of some fractures. Bone stimulation, most commonly used for Jones fractures, may be used as part of the treatment or following an inadequate response to immobilization. 
If the injury involves a displaced bone, multiple breaks, or has failed to adequately heal, surgery may be required. The podiatrist will determine which procedure is best suited to the individual patient.
If you are an athlete who has a sports injury, call our Newington, Kensington, or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington, Kensington, and Middletown, CT
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1 comment:

  1. I believe my chiropractor worsened my stress fracture. I have a tibial stress fracture...causing pain I thought was my knee. The chiropractor said my leg was out of alignment, pulled my leg and whacked the sides of my knee to put things back. I told him this was hurting...but he didn't stop. The pain got worse, and I had an MRI from the sports doctor and found a severe stress fracture. No more chiropractor for me.

    metatarsal stress fracture