images2One of Costa Rica’s best players, Alvaro Saborio, will be out of the FIFA World Cup due to a fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot.

The fifth metatarsal bone is one of the long bones in the middle of the foot, the very last bone on the outside. There are three types of fracture that can occur here: stress, avulsion and Jones. An X-ray is usually required to confirm diagnosis and assess the severity of the fracture.untitled

  • An avulsion fracture occurs when the tip of the bone is pulled away from the metatarsal. These fractures can typically heal with cast and rarely require surgery.
  • A Jones fracture, are more difficult to heal, and often require immobilization, protection from weight (crutches), and they may require a surgery.
  • Stress fractures of the fifth metatarsal are the hardest to heal, and may require surgery. These fractures often start with vague pain on the outside of the foot, often thought to be tendonitis. Over time, the stress fracture can become a complete break.

A 5th metatarsal fracture commonly occurs in association with a rolled ankle, particularly when the ankle has rolled inwards and when significant weight bearing forces are involved. They may also occur due to an awkward landing from a jump (particularly on uneven surfaces), due to a fall or following a direct blow to the outer foot. 5th metatarsal fractures are common in running and jumping sports involving change of direction such as football, soccer, rugby, basketball and netball and in dancing (e.g. ballet).

Symptoms can include:

  • A sudden onset of sharp, intense outer foot or ankle pain at the time of injury
  • An audible snapping sound at the time of injury
  • In ability to bear weight on affected foot
  • Pain in the outer aspect of the foot or ankle
  • Swelling, bruising, and stiffness
  • Pain on firmly touching the affected region of bone
  • An obvious deformity (in severe cases) may be noticeabe
  • Pins and needles or numbness in the ankle or foot

Costa Rica is set to open at the World Cup in Brazil on June 16 against Uruguay. Saborio is expected to miss three-to-four months after breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot.images

Provided by the Primus Sports Medicine Staff