The at times aggressive nature of the game makes players vulnerable to sustaining injuries to the bones in the leg and foot through collisions with other players or by falling heavily.
What Causes a Metatarsal Fracture?
There are 5 metatarsal bones in the foot and they help to support the body and keep it balanced. Fractures are caused when players suffer a heavy blow to the foot from a tackle, or through excessive rotation of the foot. It can also occur from excessive strain on the feet over a long period of time. If you have a fractured metatarsal, the foot will be swollen and very painful and it will be difficult to walk. Bruising may appear after a couple of days. This is a very common injury in football because there is only a very small amount of soft tissue on the top of the foot, so the bones don't have much protection. Younger players tend to be more prone to suffering a fractured metatarsal and the 5th metatarsal bone is the one that gets fractured the most often, as a result from going over on your ankle or twisting the foot too sharply.
Prevention of Metatarsal Fractures
This type of injury can be very hard to prevent because it is usually caused by sudden direct trauma to the foot. Ensuring that you wear the correct footwear however, will help to protect the ankles and feet and reduce the risk of a fracture.
Treatment for Metatarsal Fractures
It is imperative that a fracture is treated properly or it may get worse. Ice and medication will reduce pain and swelling. You will need to go to hospital for an X ray to determine that you have a fracture. For minor fractures, wearing a removable plastic cast may be sufficient to heal the bone. If the fracture is more substantial, surgery may be necessary to repair it. Footballers would be able to resume playing 6 weeks after the operation at the earliest.
- Abdominal strain
- Achilles tendonitis
- Knee cartilage tear
- Lateral collateral ligament sprain
- Metatarsal fracture
- Patella fracture
- Sports hernia
- Sprained ankles
- Strained hamstrings
- Thigh strain
- Torn anterior cruciate ligament