What Is a Jones Fracture?
A Jones fracture is the name often used for a fracture at the base of the fifth metatarsal, the bone on the outer side of your foot. Jones fractures are one of the most common foot injuries. This broken bone may heal slowly because of poor blood supply
to the area and the amount of force placed on this part of the foot. Those with high-arched feet especially are at risk for a Jones fracture because they put more pressure on the outside of their feet.
Jones fractures produce pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking. Some people may experience pain before the fracture occurs.
Recovery is about eight weeks with or without surgery. After the bone has healed, some patients will need physical therapy to regain motion and strength.
Risks and Complications
All surgeries come with possible complications, including the risks associated with anesthesia, infection, damage to nerves and blood vessels, and bleeding or blood clots.
Sometimes the bone will take longer than eight weeks to heal. If this happens, either surgery or a bone stimulator is recommended to help healing. Rarely, the fracture may not heal and the screw can break. If this happens, a second surgery may be performed.
Jones fractures also have a high rate of refracture, which occurs more frequently with non-surgical treatment.
When can I return to playing sports after a Jones fracture?
Athletes typically return to playing sports at around 8 weeks. Athletic trainers and physical therapists help with this process. Some may wear a clamshell orthosis or turf toe plate when returning to sports, particularly athletes who
play on hard surfaces such as artificial turf.
Can I wait to have surgery until I see if the fracture doesn't heal?
Yes, you can wait. However, postponing surgery may make it more difficult.
Does the hardware need to come out?
No, the hardware does not need to come out for you to return to activities. However, if the screw head or hardware is prominent and irritated by shoes, it may need to be removed.
Original article by Joan Williams, MD
Contributors/Reviewers: Jeffrey Feinblatt, MD; Eric Tan, MD
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