Pain on the Foot’s Outer Edge

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The outer edge of your foot, the fifth metatarsal bone, is a commonly broken bone in the foot. Pain, swelling, and bruising along the outer foot edge after an injury are symptoms. If you think you may have broken a bone, Call Nagler Foot Center for a consultation, you may have to have an X-ray.

The majority of fifth metatarsal fractures are treated without surgery. However, certain situations may require surgical treatment. Surgery can be performed to help the bone heal in a correct position and return the patient to full function. Surgery may reduce the time needed for immobilization and improve the chance of healing compared to nonsurgical treatment.


The base of the fifth metatarsal is divided into three fracture zones. Zone 1 fractures are avulsion or “chip” fractures that occur at the tip of the base of the fifth metatarsal. These fractures are typically treated without surgery using a cast, boot or hard-soled shoe.  These fractures tend to heal within six to eight weeks.

Houston’s Foot Doc Sherman Nagler recommends:

  • Take pain relievers.
  • Rest, ice, and elevate your foot.
  • Don’t walk on it.
  • Ask your doctor if surgery is necessary.
  • A cast may be necessary in some circumstances.