Home Rehabing a 3° Ankle Sprain with Fractured 5th Metatarsal??

by Deborah

Thanks for all in info on your site. I'm American living in Italy and left to my own devices more or less. It's august in Italy and all docs are on vacation.

9 weeks ago I took a horrible banal fall and fractured my right foot with 3° ankle sprain (3rd ankle sprain but never fractured foot until this fall) - got up from a chair at a bar from lunch (no wine involved) foot was asleep, I did not feel my foot, and all 168 pounds went crashing down on right ankle. Heard a loud crack, felt 20*s of pain and then nothing- nerves all busted. ankle swelled up the size of a football.

Plaster cast 1 month, up in the air, then cam walker another month. Began light ankle rehab all non weight bearing at week 6. As it stands now at week 9 I am improving, albiet ever so slowly. Swimming began a week ago week 8, and that has really helped loosen things up.

I found info on net on home ankle rehab and more on fractured 5th rehab, but it has been hard to start ankle rehab with weight bearing due to fracture. Also working on range of motion has been delayed until week 8 as the foot just did not feel like fracture was healed enough.

Now i am full weight bearing and have begun standing ankle rehab like lunges, balance on one leg, but i am not sure what i should be doing.

Can you give me any pointers on people with double injuries like me. the ortho says the ankle is stable, but i'm not convinced. i asked him to do an MRI but he said it was not necessary.

I am walking with a slight limp and relatively pain free, but ankle swells up when i've been on it for a short time and it's very rigid in the morning. I am doing everything i can. By september i need to be in the best shape possible as I teach at public school and start at 8 am every day.

Any insight on double injury rehab like mine would be appreciated.

thanks so much,

Deborah in Italy

Comments for Home Rehabing a 3° Ankle Sprain with Fractured 5th Metatarsal??

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 05, 2010
Question for Deborah
by: DJ

Hi Deborah.

I also broke my fifth Metatarsal 3 months ago. I am currently experiencing the same pinching and wrinkled paper feeling in my foot. Did that ever get better for you or did you have to return for further treatment?


Jun 25, 2009
by: margot

hey everyone. What can I say, all started at the gym ( fav place in the world )running with the wrong shoes my foot was telling for a week "I am hurting" didn't pay much attention a week after got up from couch and heard a terrible broken sound next thing I am on the floor with a swollen foot it's been 3 months to be exact, I am off cast but with crutches still I am afraid to put weight on it, I felt like my life stop for a sec, I was always at the gym and walking everywhere extremely active. I was depress for a couple of months lost 10 pounds. I've never been a cry baby but this has taken a toll on me. I wish to all in this site full fast recovery.

Sep 14, 2008
5th metatarsal
by: Anonymous

My son fractured his fifth metatarsal and it is week 7.5 of his recovery. He is walking and almost pain free. It is such a slow healing injury and I'm sorry for your pain. Hopefully it will heal soon. I've read where putting a screw in the bone will help it bond and heal. Good luck

Aug 11, 2008
100% fracture at base of 5th metatarsal in italy
by: deborah

Thanks for your reply. At week 10 I suppose I am on the right track but in the last few days I've had more pain in foot, so I'm taking it easy for a few days. I'm walking in a tennis shoe but it always feels like I've got wrinkled paper in the shoe and there is a strange sort of pinching and pulling sensation.
A lot of people say they don't understand how such a small bone could cause so many problems, but I suppose body weight and biomechanics and blood supply to the area play a big part in healing this fracture.

The best to those suffering the same.

Aug 05, 2008
Weight bearing exercises are a good idea...
by: Bart - SII

So sorry to hear about your injury...I don't know how you were able to resist wine at lunch in Italy, but probably a good thing given your accident.

At 9 weeks out, your fracture should be well on its way to healing as long as everything is going well. So, the majority of your rehab should be concerned about your ankle. You are on the right track regarding exercises - let pain be your guide and gradually increase your activities.

Your ankle may be stable, but since it hasn't been used normally for several weeks, it doesn't feel like it. So, exercises to improve your strength and balance are important to restore functional stability. The ligament has probably healed well by now, you just have to get everything "re-programmed".

There are a few exercise examples on the site, but for a comprehensive program for a full recovery, check out my Ankle Sprain Solutions. It should have all of the information you need to get yourself on the right road to recovery while you are still abroad.

Feel free to comment back with other questions.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Sports Injury Answers - Ankle.