Question: What does Neymar, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Gabriel Jesus have in common?
Answer: They are all famous soccer players who have fractured their metatarsal bones.
So what are metatarsal (foot) fractures and how do we treat them?
Metatarsal bones are the five long bones in the forefoot that connect the ankle to the toes. They are important in standing and balancing and can be fractured due to direct impact or a twisting injury to the foot.
The most commonly injured metatarsal bone is the 5th metatarsal or the bone that connects to the little toe. It usually fractures near the base of the metatarsal bone, where it is also known as a Jones fracture.
Treatment of these foot fractures involves immobilization in a cast or a walker boot for 6 to 8 weeks, followed by rehabilitation for strength and balance training.
If the foot fracture is displaced, surgical treatment would be required to prevent deformities or permanent disability. Surgery typically involves either the insertion of a long screw in the bone canal or using a metal plate at the side of the bone to reduce and hold the fracture until it heals.