Jones Fracture

Jones fracture

Jones fracture is a fracture of the 5th metatarsal bone on the outside of the foot. It occurs through overuse, or following a severe ankle sprain.

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Chaminda Goonetilleke, 20th Jan. 2022

Signs & symptoms

Breaking any bone is painful. Symptoms of a Jones fracture are:

  • Sudden pain at the base of the 5th metatarsal. This is the long bone on the outside of your foot.
  • There will be tenderness at the point of injury on the outside of the foot.
  • You will be unable to bear weight on the foot.
  • Your foot may also appear deformed.

Imaging

An X-ray helps diagnose a Jones fracture.

Jones fracture x-ray

Causes

Jones fractures occur following sever ankle sprains, or overuse.

Ankle sprains

Severe inversion ankle sprains may cause a Jones fracture. When your ankle rolls over (inverts) the sole of your foot faces inwards. This results in stress on the 5th metatarsal causing the bone to break.

Overuse

It may also result from overuse, especially repetitive impact on the outer foot. Over time bones stress injury occurs.

Treatment for Jones fracture

Jones fractures are first identified with diagnostic X-rays

Immobilization

Initial treatment usually means the patient has to wear a cast for 6-8 weeks. This immobilizes the foot and prevents weight-bearing activity. If the fracture fails to heal during this time then surgery is indicated.

Jones fracture surgery

Surgery for a Jones fracture of the foot involves placing plates and screws in the bones to hold them in place while they heal. Often Surgeons prefer to place a screw in the bones to hold them in place immediately rather than wait.

Return to sport is shown to be quicker with this method of surgery (around 2 to 4 weeks). However, this does make it more likely the individual will re-fracture the bone.

The time taken to return to full training after a surgical fixation operation is around 8 weeks, although it is recommended for full healing to be seen on a radiographic image before full training is resumed.

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