If you experience a break where a ligament separates from the bone and a small section of bone pulls away with it, then you have suffered an avulsion fracture. Younger athletes whose bones are not yet fully developed are more susceptible to these types of fractures, and they often occur at the elbows, hips, or ankles.


Due to the extreme stress on their feet, dancers are affected by this type of injury, and often in the fifth metatarsal bone that connects to the pinky toe. Rest, ice, a compression bandage, and elevation can treat a minor avulsion fracture. However, for more severe breaks, surgery may be needed.

Symptoms and signs of an avulsion fracture to the foot include:
Rapid onset of intense pain
Pain fluctuates with your activity intensity
Inflamed, bruised, and tender tissue at the location of the break
A protruding piece of bone may be evident
You are unable to put weight on the foot    
Treatment for an Avulsion Fracture
See your foot doctor right away for a physical exam and evaluation. Images studies made using X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans may be necessary to determine the extent of the damage. In the case of a displacement, the bones will need to be surgically aligned and reattached. A rigid boot is worn to immobilize the foot so healing can occur.

Physical therapy exercises will help to increase the strength and flexibility of muscles, ligaments, and tendons after the initial immobilization and healing period.

If you have suffered an avulsion fracture, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844and schedule an appointment today!

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