Diagnosis

Transverse or oblique fractures of the first metatarsal shaft

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 Mechanism of injury
 Imaging
 Clinical signs
Mechanism of injury

Shaft fractures of the first metatarsal are usually oblique or spiral. If the fracture is transverse suspect that it may be pathological. Check also for Lisfranc injuries as injury to the first metatarsal may be part of a Lisfranc complex.


Imaging

Conventional radiographs of the foot. AP and lateral oblique are sufficient for diagnosis and treatment.

If pain and swelling of adjacent TMTs is present, a CT scan or MRI should be ordered to assess for a Lisfranc injury.


Clinical signs

The clinical picture includes swelling, ecchymosis, and pain over the first metatarsal. Tenderness of adjacent TMTs should also be assessed, if Lisfranc is suspected.

Pearl
Midfoot plantar ecchymosis is often associated with Lisfranc injury.