By - Davesreadings
I've not experienced a fracture but best advice is to let it heal and please, please, please, don't try to rush yourself back to health and take the PT seriously.
I learned I have an extra bone in my right foot after I DNFd my first ultra attempt. I couldn't take a normal step without feeling like someone stabbed me in the inside of my ankle and thought I'd broken something. After an MRI it was a seriously inflammed tendon which was inflammed due to an accessory bone growing on the outside. I avoided serious surgery but it took 6 months of PT before i felt comfortable returning to a normal weekly mileage at that time (\~30 mpw). I didn't remain inactive perse but I did focus on exercises that left me off my feet.
Which did mean no running or even cycling. It is tough to remain relatively inactive, especially if you were at 100 miler level of fitness. The restlessness is no joke. But it is quite important if you want to return to your previous level.
You won't suddenly be an out of shape potato at the other end of recovery, even if you feel that way, and historical fitness is a real thing. You'll be able to much more quickly return to your previous levels than you think. Just be patient. Good luck and heal well!
Thanks for the words and sharing your experinces.
What exercises did you do that kept you off your feet?
I mainly did core and upper body work. mainly body weight for core work so not sure if planks is something you can do in your condition but there are other core exercises that can be done without putting weight on your foot. I did mainly free weights for upper body work. Not necessarily with a goal of gains in mind but rather something to keep me active and it is something I neglect quite a bit when I am training. I also did continue to do weight training on my legs but all on machines at the gym as they were the best way I could work the rest of my legs without putting weight onto my foot.
For cardio I was lucky I lived right near a lake at the time(and it was warm out) and was able to do a bunch of swimming for cardio. I didn't have a fracture so swimming was fine for me. It may be that cardio is just something that is harder for you to do initially.
Once I began PT after inflammation went down I focused on those exercises as recommended by the therapist and took it pretty slow on running.
Thank you for sharing.
I broke the same bone in the same way. My advice is to let it heal as instructed. I would stay off that foot as much as possible until the docs say the bone has mended. I took my cast off early due to work/economic reasons and paid the price for that decision for quite some time. Could still feel the break point several years later - not super painful enough to know exactly where the break occurred. Once you get the go ahead, build back up slowly - cycling, walking etc.
The bone will tell you how much and how fast you can ramp up once you start running again. If you push it too fast, you will feel it.
Thank you for sharing. Are you back to mileage now ? How long until you were back to "normal"
It was a few years ago. 100% fine now. Cast was on for almost 8 weeks Then was probably 6 month of gradually building back up from zero via walking, cycling and roller blading. Gradually introduced running once walking/hiking was not any issue. Probably close to a year before I had confidence to run and train 100%.
Was this an avulsion fracture? I had a pseudo-Jones fracture a third of a way through a 50-miler. Personally I had my walking boot for about 7 weeks followed by a smaller airboot for a little while longer. In the meantime I mostly climbed, occasionally rowed, and even resumed swing dancing (with the walking boot on).
Take it easy to start, but assuming you have the same injury you can probably get away with quite a bit including biking and rowing, albeit cautiously with a walking boot on. Just make sure you're immobilizing and preventing the flexing of your peroneal tendon. Also, even pro runners often take a couple weeks to a month off after a 100-miler, so it really is worth giving yourself time to recover!
Thank you for the encouragement and suggestions.
Keep in mind my suggestions only apply to avulsion fractures of the 5th metatarsal. Other fractures present differently and have different rehabilitation procedures, so please follow your ortho's advice at least until the bone has started healing (~6 weeks). Once there's radiological evidence that the fracture is healing well, then you can begin a return-to-sport plan with a PT.
I had three months of no running after multiple stress fractures in my foot. I was so nervous about loosing my fitness. Cold water running and lots of time in hot sauna for a deep sweat really helped calm my mind. Bikram always works for me too. Happy to say my feet are feeling stronger than before. Very sorry for your injury and get well soon.
Thank you for sharing. All these posts are keeping me positive.
I had a running buddy that knocked his foot against his toilet and he ended up in a boot. It was only a matter of months for him, but his go to was the rowing machine. He did that every single day until the doctor cleared him to run.
I'm going to inquire about that as your the second one to bring it up. Thank you !!!
Rowing does require a small amount of pressure on the foot, so don't be surprised if that's a no-go, too. BUT it's a safer bet as you get further into your recovery. I've never experienced this type of injury but I'm sure there are modifications to rowing that could get you doing that quicker than anything else.
I broke my fourth metatarsal a bit back, and it takes a long time to heal due to the lack of blood flow. Swimming ended up being a huge help in staying fit since there is no impact. Swimming does bend and flex your foot, though, so I'd ask a doctor about it before going too hard. Other than that, I just accepted that I will lose more fitness than if I was healthy, and I sought mental health practices so I didn't get depressed from the injury. (I've broken 20+ bones in my life, so I have learned how to deal with mental decline caused by decreased movement and loss of my normal routine.)
Did you finish? Goggins would have, just saying.
Fractured both shins about mile 85 but to didn’t realize it until I finished. I would have taken a full 6 weeks off but I had non refundable tickets to Moab for that marathon so I, um, went ahead and did it. Kept it an easy pace though instead of pushing like I wanted to. Luckily didn’t fe break anything. Don’t be me. Give it the full 6 weeks.
I haven't been in that situation, but for cardio conditioning I imagine you could use a rowing machine. Maybe an exercise bike or a real bike if it's possible to pedal without applying pressure to your toes. It'd probably help to be able to clip your shoes into the pedals, or to use a recumbent bike.
Elliptical would probably be fairly easy on your feet. Swimming might work too. But follow a doctor's advice and be cautious before all else.
I thought bike but doc said don't even consider it. I imagine rowing puts even more pressure on foot but will look into it. Was wanting a row machine to cross train prior to this.
Ah OK, I wasn't thinking enough about pressure.
I guess any exercise you can do with your upper body could work, like repeated calisthenic-style punching.
In any case, better to have a few months off with the ability to return to full form over time than to cause permanent damage and never get back to where you were.
I agree with taking time and healing right but I simply can't sit on a couch for 10+ weeks or my foot will be nothing compared to my mental health decline.
I need to find a new outlet or I'm going to break.
If anyone can relate it's you guys on here.
You can lift weights, you can take up new hobbies, maybe you can even cruise around outside on an electric bike or with your car window down.
Regarding weights, there may even be leg exercises you can do, like the leg extension and curl machines, that don't put any pressure on your feet and will actually improve your running once you get back to it.
I completely understand and relate. Try to think about giving your future self the gift of full health. Use the energy from this time to give it your all in the future and never take it for granted.
Are you able to swim?
I was told not too for three weeks and then reasses.
Thinking weight training seated. Never done weights before but why not build a little strength.
I found [some ideas](https://livehealthy.chron.com/cardio-exercises-not-requiring-legs-4852.html) for cardio exercises that don't use legs at all. The arm-cycle sounds the most promising to me.
I think there’s probably a foot position where you’re not directly pressing with the area under the metatarsal, but I tend to flex my feet to keep them in the straps and that could also put some strain on that area. Could be worth exploring, but I would be sure that any workaround you come up with can be applied to both feet so that you don’t develop some bilateral imbalances.
I can’t speak to your specific injury, but I’m just returning to running after 3.5 months off following a 100 that I finished with a serious achilles strain. As u/run4milkshakes said, historical fitness or whatever you want to call it is a huge factor in getting back into shape - you have to take whatever time it takes for the injury to heal and to safely reintroduce that body part to exercise, but the rest of your body will remember and get back to things pretty quickly.
I had(/have) a bunch of tendon issues around my ankle so I wasn’t able to deadlift like I wanted to, but there was something really satisfying about being able to lift more in general (reps, sets, and weight) because my running energy was suddenly available for other things - it’s a great opportunity to build some healthy mass. Swimming would be an amazing cross-training exercise to maintain cardio, kinda wish I’d done that myself because I’m building my lungs back now in addition to everything else
Bummer! A friend had a similar injury (fractured cuboid) and maintained fitness by aqua running. All you need is a flotation belt and access to a pool.
Don’t really even need the belt
Rowergs or skiergs would be great options. Learn to rowerg with out straps and mostly heels this will keep alot of pressure off. Skierg you can do seated to keep weight off the foot or maintain a similar weight on the heels.
I haven't had a metatarsal fracture, but don't underestimate the value of low impact cross training like cycling or swimming when you heal enough for them.
I have fractured my 5th metatarsal before but it wasn’t a full fracture. I didn’t know what it was and I kept running on it and even ran the Hood to Coast which made it that much worse. The podiatrist told me there’s not much I could do except take it easy and rest. So I did that for a few months and didn’t run. I did weight training tho.
Was it the keys 100? My husband ran it and we heard there were a lot of injuries this year!
It was. Exceptionally hot this year and made everyone a bit delirious. I backed out after the 7 mile bridge and wish I just called it there.