Foot Fractures in Soccer

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.

 

Foot Injuries Neymar

Image source: AFP

 

neymar foot injury

Image source: Instagram neymarjr

 

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.

 

image from Wikipedia

Metatarsal bones highlighted in purple. Image source: Wikipedia

 

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.

 

metatarsal bone 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.

walker boot

Walker boot

 

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.

 

long screw in the bone canal

Long screw in the bone canal Image source: AOTrauma

 

AOTrauma

Image source: AOTrauma

 

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