The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Music News: Welcome To The Jungle (Of Foot Fracture Recovery)

Posted by on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

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foot fracture recovery
Axl Rose has fractured his foot on the eve of his reunion tour. (Image Source: Flickr CC user Hans Põldoja)

Unfortunately, you did not just witness a well-choreographed April Fools’ Day joke. Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose really did fracture his left foot at The Troubadour in Los Angeles on April 1st during an impromptu warm-up for the band’s highly anticipated reunion tour. According to TMZ, the singer slipped while onstage and immediately knew something was wrong, but “toughed it out” in true rock star fashion. He later tweeted: “This is what can happen when you do something you haven’t done in nearly 23 years.” He also posted a video of Dr. Rachel Triche, his Santa Monica-based doctor, explaining the injury and his internal fixation surgery.

What’s A Fifth Metatarsal Fracture & How Does It Happen?

The fifth metatarsal is the long bone connecting the little toe to the rest of the foot. In some circles, we call this injury a “dancer’s fracture” because it’s commonly sustained during a bad roll when landing after a leap or jump. You may also hear it referred to as a “Jones Fracture”, particularly among basketball players. They often crack this bone because they’ve  weakened its surrounding ligaments due to repetitive motion and overtraining. Symptoms include a deep midfoot ache, swelling, and bruising.

How Is A Metatarsal Fracture Fixed?

Often these fractures can be managed nonoperatively by offloading pressure or by casting. We recommend rest, aggressive icing in the first 48 hours, compression with a foot sleeve, and elevation. However, busy musicians and high-intensity athletes tend to thoroughly smash the bone, requiring additional fixation methods.

To correct the trauma, surgeons stabilized Axl’s midfoot using an open “internal fixation” technique with titanium screws and a plate. Axl was instructed to avoid bearing weight on the injury for at least a month, after which he’ll need to go through a gradual physical therapy program to regain full strength and range of motion.

Though the general foot fracture recovery time is six to 12 weeks, it’s not unusual to experience residual pain and weakness a year later. Hopefully, Axl’s injury will heal well and won’t dog him like NBA superstar Kevin Durant, who suffered complications including hardware failure and persistent soreness, or like baller Brook Lopez, who nearly stepped off the court for good after a cascade of foot and ankle surgeries.

How Will Axl’s Broken Foot Affect The Tour?

Fans who have been waiting since 1993 for Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan to share a stage again will be relieved to know the rock stars feel the show must go on. They did not cancel their Las Vegas performance, their two appearances at Coachella in April, or any of the 21 cities on their Not In This Lifetime reunion tour kicking off two months later.

For their Las Vegas and California shows, Axl reportedly borrowed the tricked-out throne Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl used after breaking a leg on tour last year. Way to make the best of the situation!

It’s great that Axl’s schedule includes some downtime so he can start his physical therapy regimen although we suspect GNR fans will be seeing the 54-year-old in a walking boot with a slightly tempered stage presence.

In NYC, Fractured Feet Receive Expert Care With Us!

The Center For Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine provides expert care for fracture injuries like the one Axl Rose recently sustained. Our board-certified podiatric surgeons, podiatrists, and sports medicine doctors have treated more than 44,000 foot and ankle-related sports injuries. We offer the latest advances, including electronic bone stimulation technology and platelet rich plasma injections. Don’t spend the day in the emergency room waiting area: call our Westchester or Manhattan offices to be seen immediately.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.