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Proximal Fifth Metatarsal Fractures

Ramponi, Denise R. DNP, NP-BC, FAANP, FAEN, CEN

Section Editor(s): Ramponi, Denise R. DNP, NP-BC, FAANP, FAEN, CEN; Column Editor

doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e3182aa057b

The most common fracture of the foot is a fracture of the proximal fifth metatarsal. In general, there are 3 types of fractures involving the proximal fifth metatarsal area, including a proximal diaphyseal stress fracture, a Jones fracture, and an avulsion fracture of the tuberosity. Some fractures of the fifth metatarsal heal without difficulty, whereas some have the potential for nonunion or delayed healing. Each fracture has some variation in the anatomical location on the fifth metatarsal, the mechanism of injury, the radiographic findings, and the treatment plan. Avulsion fractures of the tuberosity often heal without difficulty, yet fractures distal to the area of insertion of the peroneus brevis tendon are prone to nonunion and delayed healing (T. B. Dameron, 1975). Differential diagnosis of a fifth metatarsal midfoot injury includes ankle sprains, midfoot sprains, plantar facial ruptures, peroneus tendon ruptures, and other foot fractures.

Robert Morris University, Moon Township, Pennsylvania; and Heritage Valley Sewickley Emergency Department, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Corresponding Author: Denise R. Ramponi, DNP, NP-BC, FAANP, FAEN, CEN, School of Nursing & Health Sciences, Robert Morris University, Moon Township, PA 15108 (

Disclosure: The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Illustrations by David Brous.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.