Acute metatarsal injury

Patient

Q: About a week and half ago a large heavy metal pole landed on my left foot and yes I was wearing flip flops. It felt like I cut my toes off. Instantly I could see the my 4 metatarsal was the targeted area from the swelling and bruising within seconds. I could not put any pressure on my foot for 2 days. The swelling and bruising took over my whole foot. I began soaking it in epsom salt and within 24 hours I was hobbling around. Now the pain is getting worse at my foot and beginning to hurt in my ankle area and the toe beside my pinky toe is almost double in size. Is this normal in this type of injury?

Symptoms:  Pain,swelling, immobility of toes
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. The nature of the injury to your metatarsal does indeed seem to be severe. Given the nature of the increased, swelling, pain, and decreased range of motion, it is possible that this blunt force injury could have fractured one or more of the bones of your foot. Now the symptomatic treatment you have been using is indeed a good approach to alleviating the pain, however, we want to be certain that you do not have a fracture. For this reason, we would like to encourage you to visit your doctors office and have your foot examined as well as well as have an X-ray performed to ensure there are no fractures. In the meantime we would like you to limit your movement, and pressure you place on your foot in order to prevent exacerbation of your pain and swelling. Also, try applying an ice pack to the swollen areas of your foot in fifteen to twenty minute intervals.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com with your medical question.

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