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Toby, 12, breaks it like Beckham

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:31 03 March 2010

WHEN England skipper David Beckham broke the metatarsal bone in a controversial tackle the nation was suddenly re-educated in the biology of the foot.

So much so that when Ipswich youngster Toby Hignett did the same, he was told by docotors that he had done a David Beckham.

WHEN England skipper David Beckham broke the metatarsal bone in a controversial tackle the nation was suddenly re-educated in the biology of the foot.

So much so that when Ipswich youngster Toby Hignett did the same, he was told by docotors that he had done a David Beckham.

Now the football season is upon us again, JESSICA NICHOLLS talks to the boy who got closer to becoming his hero than he bargained for.

BUDDING footballer Toby Hignett got a little closer to being his hero David Beckham when he broke exactly the same bone in his foot as the England skipper.

Now the football season is on us again and 12-year-old Toby is working his way back to full fitness after breaking the metatarsal bone that became so well known when Becks ended up on crutches just weeks before the world cup.

And like his Manchester United idol, Toby of Hazelcroft Road healed much quicker than expected allowing him to get back on the pitch as soon as possible.

However, although it was known almost straight away that Beckham had broken the famous bone, brave Toby was hobbling around for more than a week before it was realised that his foot was broken.

His mum Julie Hignett said: "He was playing football with friends when it happened and he came in and said that one of his friends had kicked him and his foot hurt.

"I thought it was just bruised."

But around a week later Toby was still in pain so they went to the hospital for an x-ray.

Julie said: "The doctor just said, 'Oh Toby, you have got a David Beckham.'

"He had to have a cast on and was quite upset because he could not play football."

For the first few weeks of the school holidays Toby was hobbling around with his foot in plaster, unable to join in games of football with his friends.

But the plaster was able to come off sooner than expected.

Julie said: "It healed really well and the cast was only on for about three and a half weeks instead of the six to eight weeks it normally takes."

Toby, a pupil at Thurleston High School is keen on becoming a footballer in the future and like Beckham, plays in midfield.

He said: "I was quite shocked when I found it was broken and my mates were really surprised about how it just broke.

"I can play again now but I have lost a bit of my accuracy."

However practice makes perfect and Toby will soon be back on the pitch when he goes out to play for Coddenham Youth Team.

FASTFACTS:

There are five metatarsal bones in each foot.

Located in the forefoot, they are the relatively long bones, that roughly cover the area just in front of the ankle down to the toes.

It is the part of the foot that footballers strike the ball with and as a result this area is prone to injury, although sometimes fractures occur without contact if someone goes over badly on their ankle.

Hairline fractures don't always show up on x-ray until about 2 weeks after the injury, but any significant fracture will be apparent.

Treatment and healing can take between six to twelve weeks, depending on the constitution and diet of the individual, and the position and shape of the fracture. The injury will usually be x-rayed at two weeks and then 6 weeks, to check the rate of healing.

Forms of treatment include:

Order special diagnostic bone scans to establish a questionable diagnosis

Apply orthopedic taping and padding to relieve stress from the metatarsals. Dispense a surgical/ trauma shoe to splint the foot.

Prescribe medication for pain and inflammation.

Use physical therapy in the later stages of healing.

Occasionally a plaster cast is necessary.

Information sources:

www.physioroom.com/news

www.foottalk.com/stressfx.htm

BECKHAM'S Footline:

APRIL 10 – Becks is stretched off the pitch in the Champions League quarter final against Deportivo La Coruna following THAT tackle by Argentian Pedro Duscher.

He is found to have broken his second metatarsal bone in his left foot.

He was told he would have to have his foot in plaster for six to eight weeks and then it would take another two to four weeks to get fit again – the World Cup was just seven weeks away.

Hysteria gripped the nation when the news broke that he may not be able to play in the world cup – even Tony Blair said through a spokesman "Nothing is more important to England's preparations than the state of David Beckham's foot."

Uri Geller appealed to the nation to help heal the foot by putting their hands on a TV picture and visualising knitting the bone together.

To speed up his recovery Becks apparently slept in a sealed low-oxygen tent, which gives him the effect of high altitude to keep his fitness levels up while he was unable to run.

He eventually defied speculation and played in England's first World Cup match against Sweden.

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