March or Stress Fracture Explained by Podiatrist
Another problem that I believe is caused by a Morton’s Toe is a spontaneous breaking (fracture) of the lesser metatarsal bone(s), most commonly the second metatarsal bone. In the military, these fractures are known as “march fractures.” In the private world they are called stress fractures. When military recruits go on marches, some of them end up with fractures of their second metatarsal bone for no apparent reason. I would bet anything that if the x-rays were re-examined on these men, they would show that the majority of the ones who got a March fracture also had a short or hypermobile first metatarsal bone. Again, it makes sense. If you have a either of these problems, the poor lesser metatarsal bone, especially the second, has a lot more stress and strain on it than the normal foot would have. Add to that a 60-pound backpack and double-time march, and no wonder the unfortunate second metatarsal bone breaks. I believe it would be of great benefit to our armed forces for the military doctors to consider this relationship between the first metatarsal bone and march fracture. If they did, two things would occur:
1. the number of march fractures would drop markedly and
2. all of the thousands and thousands of cases of various foot, back, leg, neck, and hip problems associated with the Morton’s Toe would also decrease, saving our country millions of dollars spent in treating members of our armed forces.
In the civilian world, a stress fracture is the same thing as the march fracture except it is caused by day-in day-out stress applied upon the metatarsal bone and not by marching. I have found that dancing, jogging and golfing many times will cause it. In both the march fracture and the stress fracture, it is very common that there are no signs on x-rays of the break of the metatarsal bone for several weeks. So it is common that the foot must be re-x-rayed to observe the fracture.
There is alot of history that goes with this problem . Aristotle wrote about around the 2nd century BC. It first appeared in the medical books in the mid 1800 by a military physician name Breithaupt, who notice this reoccurring fracture of the metatarsals.
Like any othe fracture of the foot healing can take 8-12 weeks in a post op wooden shoe or cast.
Of course after than YOU MUST TREAT THE MORTON’S TOE TO PREVENT IT FROM REOCCURRING