Avulsion Fractures & Treatment Options


An avulsion fracture is characterized by a ligament that separates from the bone and yanks off a tiny piece of bone from the primary structure. This injury is often seen in young athletes, and usually affects the elbow, hip, or ankle area.  Dancers are susceptible to this type of injury to the fifth metatarsal bone, which supports the little toe. While small fractures can be treated with rest, ice, a compression bandage, and elevation, more severe breaks will require a surgical solution involving the use of screws, pins and other hardware to reattach the errant piece of bone.

The symptoms and signs of a fracture to the foot may include the following:

●     Immediate, intense pain

●     Pain that increases or decreases in response to your activity level

●     Swelling

●     Bruising

●     Tenderness

●     Deformity

●     Difficulty in bearing weight

●     Difficulty in taking your shoes on and off

Treatment for an Avulsion Fracture

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is very important to see a doctor right away to get a proper evaluation and have imaging tests performed to look for soft tissue damage and bone displacement. Images can be made using X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. If you have a displaced break, your foot surgeon will need to realign the bones and perform the reattachment. A brace, or boot will be required to immobilize the foot so that it can heal properly.

When the bone has completely healed, you will need to work with a physical therapist to increase the strength and flexibility of the stiffened muscles and ligaments in your feet and ankles which will help to avoid a reinjury.

For assistance in treating foot or ankle injuries, your foot care professional can provide the best care. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.