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What is a Jones Fracture? All your questions answered here


Unless you are an avid sports fan, you might not have even heard of a Jones fracture before. This type of fracture hit the headlines in 2014 when it caused Kevin Durant to miss the start of the season. 

In this post, we aim to answer all your questions about Jones fractures, including what they are, their symptoms, what causes them, how they can be treated, and more including at what point to consider surgical intervention at an outpatient surgery center in Raleigh.

What is a Jones fracture?

A Jones fracture is a break in the lower part of the fifth metatarsal bone in the foot. It is the last bone on the outside of the foot.  This type of fracture is known as a ‘transverse’ fracture, but this specific break of the metatarsal was first identified by Sir Robert Jones in 1902 and was subsequently given his name.

What is a Jones Fracture

What causes Jones fractures?

It is thought that Jones fractures are most commonly an acute injury that happens quickly, with force. A typical example can be when playing sports. The type of force which can cause such fractures is known as an abduction force such as the force placed on the feet when shooting or jumping in basketball. However, in Kevin Durant’s case (mentioned above), it was reported that it was a stress fracture, which suggests that not all incidences of Jones fractures are 100% acute.

Is a Jones Fracture Serious? 

A Jones Fracture is just like any other broken bone and takes about 6-8 weeks to heal. It may or may not require surgical intervention. As an orthopedic surgical procedure, it is one which is best performed at an orthopedic surgery center, such as our outpatient orthopedic surgery center in Raleigh.

The challenge with this type of fracture occurs along a segment of the bone that is considered less vascular, which prolongs healing. Surgical intervention where a screw is placed may help with recovery in approximately six weeks. 

Can you walk if you have a Jones Fracture? 

Any fracture can be painful and limit your ability to walk. Participation in physical therapy after a fracture can help you to get back on your feet safely. 

Why physical therapy? It will help to improve range of motion, strength, flexibility, and mobility. You will learn how to put the proper amount of stress on your healing bone. Your therapist will also help you learn balance exercises that will benefit you long after being out of your immobilization device. 

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How can a Jones fracture be treated?

The type of treatment plan will depend on the specifics of the injury, particularly if the bone is healing naturally in the correct position. If not, then surgery may be indicated.

Non-surgical treatment options

If the fracture is healing well on it’s own, then surgery is not required. In these cases, it may be sufficient to place the patient in a cast and instruct the patient not to put weight on the foot for several weeks.

Can a Jones Fracture Heal Without a Cast?

Our Raleigh Orthopedic Surgeons will likely place your foot in a cast or some immobilization device to protect the bone and to help it to heal.

You will be likely be non-weight bearing after surgery. In this case, you cannot place any weight on your foot at all for several weeks while it heals. To assist, you will be given crutches or some other assistive device to help you move. Physical therapists can teach you how to use assistive devices best not to bear any weight. 

Surgical treatment options

Jones fractures are problematic because they are prone to non-union. This means that they do not always heal naturally on their own. This can be exacerbated by inadequate blood supply to the area of injury. As such, sometimes surgical intervention may be required to help the bone rejoin successfully. Surgical treatment options include fixation or bone grafting.

Do all Jones Fractures Require Surgery? 

High-performance athletes often will undergo surgery for a Jones Fracture but many people do not have to have surgery. They heal okay with immobilization and physical therapy. If however, healing does not progress after several weeks, then surgery may be something to consider. 

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Further information – Raleigh Orthopedic Surgery Center

Our Board Certified doctors and fellowship-trained surgeons are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of Jones fractures. They provide comprehensive and specialized care not just for Jones fractures but also for a wide variety of joint conditions. 

They work closely with If you would like more information about our orthopedic surgery center, do not hesitate to contact us.  

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.