Jones Fracture Fixation
WHAT IS A JONES FRACTURE?
A Jones Fracture is a stress fracture of the proximal shaft of the fifth metatarsal; a fracture that frequently heals with difficulty.
Stress fractures frequently occur in the bones of the forefoot that extend from your toes to the middle of your foot. Stress fractures are like tiny cracks in the bone surface. They can occur with sudden increases in training (such as running or walking for longer distances or times), improper training techniques or changes in training surfaces. Most other types of fractures extend through the bone. They may be stable (no shift in bone alignment) or displaced (bone ends no longer line up). These fractures usually result from trauma, such as dropping a heavy object on your foot, or from a twisting injury. If the fractured bone does not break through the skin, it is called a closed fracture.
Several types of fractures occur to the forefoot bone on the side of the little toe (fifth metatarsal). Ballet dancers may break this bone during a misstep or fall from a pointe position. An ankle-twisting injury may tear the tendon that attaches to this bone and pull a small piece of the bone away. A more serious injury in the same area is a Jones fracture, which occurs near the base of the bone and disrupting the blood supply to the bone. This injury may take longer to heal or require surgery.
WHAT IS A JONES FRACTURE FIXATION?
Due to its location a Jones fracture is very slow healing due to poor blood flow. Conservative treatment can involve keeping weight off the region for up to five months. For patients that are athletes or unable to comply with restrictions for the duration of time needed for healing a surgical intervention would be required. Non-compliance of weight baring restrictions can lead to a non-union healing which can result in the need of surgical intervention; roughly half of all patients fail to heal properly following conservative measures.
If surgery is indicated there is minor risk to a nerve and tendon in very close proximity, but recovery time is reduced to as few as 8 weeks. Given the risk vs. reward of the procedure it would be reasonable for your physician to discuss the possibility of surgery to ensure the union of your fracture as it is critically important in this region of the foot.