Halle Berry’s Goat-Chasing Leads to Fractured Foot

Halle Berry may not only have been afraid for her foot after she fractured it while shooting the movie “Cloud Atlas”, but she also may have feared for her job in revealing what she was doing when the fracture occurred!   Initially Berry reported that she was taking a casual stroll on her day off around the property she was staying at.  However, more recently she admitted that she was actually chasing goats with her young daughter leading up the injury!  Although the idea of chasing goats does not seem to make much sense, it at least makes a lot more sense for how a foot fracture developed!

To better understand fractures and how they occur, it is important to know that fractures can generally be divided into two groups: stress fractures and general bone fractures.  Stress fractures typically occur in people doing a low-intensity repetitive motion, such as running, marching or walking long distances.  The bone is not able to remodel and heal itself fast enough to keep up with the repetitive stress being place on it.  Muscles that are fatigued may also play a role in the development of a stress fracture because they will not be able to contract and redistribute force over a larger area.

In this acute instance however, it is more likely that Halle suffered from a general bone fracture than a stress fracture.  This means that the cortex or hard outer shell of the bone was damaged all the way through in the area of the injury.  It was reported that Halle heard a “crack” & felt pain immediately shooting up her foot.  Because she was running on uneven terrain, it possible that Halle also sprained her ankle by rolling her foot.  While it has not been reported which metatarsal Halle broke, the fifth (or little toe metatarsal) is the most commonly fractured of the metatarsals in people above the age of 5.  In the instance of a 5thmetatarsal fracture, it would be imperative to know exactly what position Halle’s foot was in and to have x-rays and other images taken to determine the location and characteristics of the fracture.  If she did in fact roll her ankle, she may not only have ligament and tendon damage, but the forceful stretch of tendon’s connecting to the bone may have pulled off, or avulsed a piece of the metatarsal causing the fracture.  Another scenario would be if she were propelling herself off the side of her foot, to run after a goat, she may have incurred a “Jones fracture”.  A Jones fracture not only disrupts the cortex of the bone, but also disrupts the blood supply to the bone that is crucial to its proper healing.  This type of fracture can require more serious treatment including surgery and longer periods of being non-weight bearing on the foot.

The most important step in adequate healing of a fracture foot is getting the correct diagnosis in a timely manner.  Each of the different types of fractures described may have a slightly different course of treatment and identifying that course is critical to prevent delayed or improper healing or a longer course of foot pain for the patient.  Any actress, athlete or other individual who believes they may have a fracture or other foot injury should contact their podiatrist as soon as possible to ensure that they will be able to get back to chasing goats and all other fun activities as quickly as possible!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington. If you would like to see a podiatrist in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-885-3338 for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia