Differentiating Types of 5th Metatarsal Fractures

Fractures at the base of the 5th MT are normally transverse or oblique and in children must be differentiated from the apophysis, which is longitudinal (Fig 1) or even fragmented (Fig 2).

These fractures must also be differentiated from those that occur at the base of the shaft of the 5th MT, commonly referred to as Jones fractures (Fig 3). Though they can occur as a result of trauma, Jones fractures are usually stress fractures. Due to significant incidence of non-union, they are normally managed in plaster and should be referred for orthopaedic follow up.

Other fractures of the shaft of the MT (Fig 4) are treated symptomatically.