Metatarsals are the long bones of the forefoot. There are many different kinds of fractures that can happen to the bones of the forefoot. They are painful but often heal without the need for surgery. The metatarsals are prone to stress fractures, or cracks in the bone. These are usually related to a recent increase or change in activity. The fifth metatarsal below the small toe may fracture if it is landed on badly or if the ligament of a twisted ankle pulls off a piece of the bone. Symptoms of a metatarsal fracture include pain that gets worse when walking, swelling and sometimes bruising.