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How do I treat a metatarsal stress fracture?

What's the best way to treat a metatarsal stress fracture? This article explores the use of a forefoot compression sleeve and walking cast.

What's the best way to treat metatarsalmt\etatarsal stress fracture

stress fractures?

What product do I need to treat my metatarsal stress fracture?

Years ago I saw a Columbus, Ohio police officer as a patient in early July.  Although his x-rays were inconclusive, he had classic symptoms of a metatarsal stress fracture.  Symptoms included point specific pain over one metatarsal, no bruising, pain with range of motion of the metatarsal and pain when first standing.

Forefoot compression sleeveThe officer was a great patient but had an issue.  He was days away from the big fourth of July celebration in Columbus called Red, White, and Boom.  He said, "Doc, I hear everything that you're saying, but I get triple time for Red, White, and Boom.  I've got to work."

So we came up with a compromise.  He agreed to rest whenever possible and to wear his policeman's service shoes.  The service shoe really proved to be a great part of his treatment.  When laced, they compressed any swelling.  They also have toe spring, or a rocker sole that will decrease load to the metatarsals.

We're not all policemen, so what's the best way to treat a metatarsal stress fracture?  Simply put, the answer is rest.  My go-to is a forefoot compression sleeve and a walking cast.

Interested in learning more about metatarsal stress fractures?  Be sure to read our knowledge base article on stress fractures.


Dr. Jeffrey Oster
Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM

Medical Advisor

Updated 4/15/2021

Leave your comment
11/27/2018 1:19 PM
How long will it take the compression sleeve to heal my fracture?
11/29/2018 11:55 PM
Bone healing is the function of a number of different factors including age, smoking status, obesity and a host of other contributing factors.  In a 15 to 35 year old, you can bet on 6 weeks in a stable metatarsal fracture.  Stable meaning that the bone is in good apposition and alignment on x-ray.<br>
The <a href="/forefoot-compression-sleeve">Forefoot Compression Sleeve</a> will help the bone heal a bit faster by controlling swelling and by stabilizing the fracture. <br>
<a href="/jeffrey_a_oster_dpm_cv">Jeffrey Oster, DPM</a><br>
Medical Director<br>