Authors of section


Khairul Faizi Mohammad, Brad Yoo

Executive Editors

Markku T Nousiainen, Richard Buckley

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Distal fractures of the 5th metatarsal


These injuries include all fractures of the distal 5th metatarsal.

They are classified as follows: 

  • Extraarticular fractures (AO/OTA 87.5.3A)
  • Partial articular fractures (AO/OTA 87.5.3B)
  • Complete articular fractures (AO/OTA 87.5.3C)

The fractures may also be simple (a) or multifragmentary (b).

87 D600 Definition

Clinical presentation

The patient describes an acute trauma with immediate pain and difficulty in weight bearing. The foot progressively exhibits swelling and ecchymosis. The damaged area is very painful to palpation.

Deformities may not be appreciated.

Open fractures will have draining wounds.


Conventional radiographs of the foot (AP and lateral oblique views) are sufficient for diagnosis and treatment.


Mechanism of injury

These fractures are typically caused by low energy torsion mechanisms.

High energy mechanism injuries are often associated with midfoot instability (Lisfranc instability).

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