Broken foot bone; March fracture; March foot; Jones fracture
Stress fractures are common in people who:
Pain is an early sign of a metatarsal stress fracture. The pain may occur:
Over time, the pain will be:
The area of your foot where the fracture is may be tender when you touch it. It may also be swollen.
An x-ray may not show there is a stress fracture for up to 6 weeks after the fracture occurs. Your health care provider may order a bone scan or MRI to help diagnose it.
You may wear a special shoe to support your foot. If your pain is severe, you may have a cast below your knee.
It may take 4 to 12 weeks for your foot to heal.
It is important to rest your foot.
For pain, you can take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
As you recover, your provider will examine how well your foot is healing. The provider will tell you when you can stop using crutches or have your cast removed. Also check with your provider about when you can start certain activities again.
You can return to normal activity when you can perform the activity without pain.
When you restart an activity after a stress fracture, build up slowly. If your foot begins to hurt, stop and rest.
Call your provider if you have pain that does not go away or gets worse.
McCormack RG, Lopez CA. Commonly encountered fractures in sports medicine. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 13.
Safran MR, Zachazewski J, Stone DA. Metatarsal stress fracture. In: Safran MR, Zachazewski J, Stone DA, eds. Instructions for Sports Medicine Patients. 2nd ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2012:648-652.
Smith MS. Metatarsal fractures. In: Eiff PM, Hatch R, eds. Fracture Management for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 15.
Last reviewed on: 5/14/2016
Reviewed by: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.