Diagnosis and serial sonography of a proximal fifth metatarsal stress fracture

Patrick J Battaglia, Martha A Kaeser, Norman W Kettner
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2013, 12 (3): 196-200

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this report is to describe a fifth metatarsal stress fracture that was not detectable using conventional radiographs and was identified with diagnostic ultrasonography (US), confirmed with computed tomography, and followed through symptom resolution with US.

CLINICAL FEATURES: A 68-year-old woman presented to a chiropractic teaching clinic for evaluation of right foot pain. Diagnostic US examination using an 8- to 15-MHz linear array transducer showed increased vascularity, periosteal elevation, and cortical disruption of the proximal diaphysis of the fifth metatarsal suggestive of a stress fracture. The patient was referred to an orthopedic specialist for comanagement.

INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient was treated by an orthopedist who confirmed a stress fracture using computed tomography, and she was fit with a short-leg walking boot. Serial US images were obtained to document fracture healing and exclude complications. After 6 months, the patient was asymptomatic and had resumed all of her daily activities.

CONCLUSION: We report a case of a proximal fifth metatarsal stress fracture that was visualized with US and followed through symptom resolution by serial examinations.

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