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Metatarsal fractures are common injuries of the forefoot. The Jones fracture, more specifically, is a common fracture of the fifth metatarsal. Generally, it is injured during inversion-type injuries, such as ankle sprains. Fractures to the fifth metatarsal may also occur from direct or crushing types of injuries, as well as from stress fractures.
A Jones fracture is usually caused by stress that’s placed across the bone when the heel is off the ground and the forefoot is planted. This type of fracture may also represent an old stress fracture, which has progressed to a complete fracture. A Jones fracture is significant because it occurs in an area where the blood supply to the bone is less than adequate, often resulting in healing problems.
To reduce your risk of a Jones fracture, practice the following:
The most common symptoms of a Jones fracture include:
Anyone who has symptoms of a fifth metatarsal fracture should see a foot and ankle specialist as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. To arrive at a diagnosis, your surgeon will ask how the injury occurred or when the pain started. The foot will then be examined, with the doctor gently pressing on different areas of the foot to determine where there is pain.
Next, your doctor will order an X-ray to determine the extent of the fracture, to confirm the diagnosis, and to ensure that there is no further damage.
Minor Jones fractures are typically treated with a cast, splint or walking boot for six to eight weeks. You may be non-weight bearing in the foot. Over-the-counter or prescribed anti-inflammatory medications may also be used to alleviate discomfort and swelling during the healing process.
For athletes, or for those who incur an acute Jones fracture that has shifted and is no longer in-line, our orthopaedic surgeons conduct cutting-edge surgical procedures. Your foot and ankle surgeon will determine the type of procedure that is best suited for your unique case.