Jones Fracture

Jones fracture

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

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 is needed to help diagnose a Jones fracture.

Jones fracture x-ray

Causes

Jones fractures are often caused by ankle inversion. This is when your ankle turns over, so the foot faces inwards points downwards.

It may also be the result of overuse – especially repetitive impact on the outer foot. This fracture is often mistaken as an ankle sprain because of its location.

Treatment

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.

Surgery

This involves placing plates and screws in the foot to hold the bones 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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