What are metatarsal injury?
Metatarsals are the five long bones in the forefoot which connect the ankle bones to those of the toes. The first is linked to the big toe and the fifth, on the outer foot, links to the little toe. The five metatarsals act as a unit to help share the load of the body, and they move position to cope with uneven ground. Injuries usually occur as a result of a direct blow onto the foot, a twisting injury or over-use.
How this happen?
The middle metatarsals - which are the longest and narrowest - are usually injured as a result of wear and tear (stress fractures). In other words, it is caused by an ongoing process - and not one single occurrence. This is common with athletes, ballet dancers and soldiers. Impact (eg: someone stamping on your foot) and twisting can also result in fractures. The first, second and fifth metatarsals are the most commonly injured in sport. The first links to the big toe and is shorter and wider than the others. It is estimated this bears up to one third of the body weight.
The Manchester United and England forward broke a bone in his left foot in an entirely accidental collision with Reading defender Michael Duberry.
What Nike respond about it?
Nike, makers of Rooney’s Total 90 Laser boots, denied that their footwear was unsafe. ‘We’re positive and Wayne’s positive the boot has nothing to do with it’, said Nike’s UK spokesman Charlie Brooks. ‘Nearly 20 per cent of the professional players in the Barclays Premier League in action this weekend were wearing this boot.’
This is the third time Rooney has suffered such an injury. The last time, of course, was in April 2006, a few weeks before the World Cup. He was rushed back before he was fully recovered and England, already over-dependent on its young talisman, was eliminated after Rooney was sent off against Portugal in the quarterfinals. Two years earlier, a broken metatarsal forced Rooney out of the Euro '04 quarterfinal against Portugal, and English hopes evaporated.
The picture below show to us Rooney metatarsal which broke at 2006
Other Hypothesis why footballer today prone to the injury
Another popular hypothesis is that ‘footballers ain’t wot they used to be’ due to the rigours of the modern game. Podiatrist Wayne Edwards thinks that intensive training from an early age is a significant factor. ‘It’s probably something to do with training levels that people are going through at the moment, the amount of time they are actually playing’, suggested Edwards. ‘These young lads…are taken on from 14 upwards into the academies and they are put through quite rigorous, adult-level training sessions.’
Dr Craig Panther, Fulham’s chief medical officer, believes that a combination of factors might be responsible. ‘Common sense says harder pitches, increasing training schedules and more flexible boots play some part’, said Panther. ‘But it is probably lots of factors combined: position, ground, time of year, boot design, even playing style.’ West Ham’s medical officer, Gus Steinbergs, also thinks there may be ‘multifactorial’ reasons for these injuries.
Rest. The immediate response is a big "no" to all exercise and sport for 4-8 weeks. The patient may be asked to wear walking boots or stiff-soled shoes to protect the injury while it heals. If the cause is over-use, then treatment can vary hugely. Training habits, equipment used and athletic technique should all be investigated. With a bone fracture, the bone can often have a pin or screw inserted to speed up the recoveryIt all depends on the damage and which metatarsal bone is involved. It is impossible to put a timescale on recovery from a stress injury.
After initial rest, the training techniques or body mechanics may need minor tweaking or a major haul to avoid a repeat injury. With an impact fracture, after the plaster and protective boot is not needed (usually after 4-6 weeks), it will be a case of exercise and increasing weight-bearing activities. Ice packs, strapping and even the use of oxygen tents can be used to assist recovery.
Full return to action can be anything from another four weeks and upwards - depending on the extent of initial damage. Young bones heal quicker.
Good or Bad facts about the recovery times history for England player