Objectives: Metatarsal fractures are commonly sustained during sport but little is written about metatarsal fractures in the athletic population. Demographics and definitive treatment in patients who sustained metatarsal fractures through sport were compared with an overall metatarsal fracture population.
Materials and Methods: We used a prospective cohort study from a teaching hospital fracture clinic. Eighteen months of data were coded from presentation with a metatarsal fracture. Demographics, metatarsal fracture, participating sport and treatment were recorded and analysed.
Results: 791 patients presented with metatarsal fractures in an 18 month period with 74 metatarsal fractures sustained through sport. In the overall cohort group, there were 443 females and 348 males with a mean age of 44 (age range 15–91) and in the athletic population there were 6 females and 68 males with a mean age of 26 (age range 1562). The majority of the metatarsal fractures sustained from sport were from soccer (73%), with the fifth metatarsal being the most commonly fractured. The definitive treatment in both groups appears to be similar, where the mainstay of treatment is conservative with the use of cast or early mobilisation with an elasticated support stocking.
Conclusion: In this cohort approximately 9% of metatarsal fractures were sustained through sport, with soccer being the most common sport. Following high profile injuries to metatarsals in soccer players, it has been suggested that the incidence of these fractures is rising. Thus, it is recommended that a detailed prospective study be undertaken to specifically study the incidence, aetiology and morbidity of metatarsal fractures in the athletic population.