Jones Fractures

What is Jones Fracture?

Jones Fracture Definition

A Jones fracture is a specific type of foot fracture involving the outside portion of the foot and specifically the fifth metatarsal bone.

The location and pattern of this fracture within the fifth metatarsal bone is itself characteristic. The fracture pattern is horizontal/transverse. And, the fracture location within the fifth metatarsal bone is near the midfoot at the base of the fifth metatarsal bone where the narrow portion of the bone( Diaphysis) begins to widen (Metaphysis) .

This area of the fifth metatarsal bone receives minimal blood supply. This" hypovascularity" makes this specific type of fracture difficult to heal and more prone to requiring surgical treatment.

Jones Fracture Symptoms and Anatomy

Symptoms include pain, swelling and sometimes bruising along the outside portion of the midfoot. Sometimes patients will report feeling a pop or snap in that area. Foot structure and foot alignment may also play a role. High arch / "cavus foot " pattern increases the risk of a Jones fracture.

These fractures can occur slowly due to overuse- such as ramp up of endurance training. These fractures can also occur suddenly- such as inwardly rolling the foot.

Jones Fracture Treatment

Nonsurgical treatment: up to 20% of Jones fractures may develop nonunion or delayed union with appropriate non-surgical treatment.

For a sudden injury/fresh Jones fracture without displacement (no malalignment or offset between bone ends at fracture site) Treatment may include short leg cast or boot walker non weight- bearing for six weeks followed by weight-bearing for six weeks. Additional treatments that could be added to increase the rate of healing include bone stimulator devices.

Jones Fracture Surgery

For a non-sudden variety stress fracture or for a sudden fracture that has no evidence of healing after six weeks treatment or a fracture showing x-ray displacement : - minimal incision surgical intervention with an intramedullary screw is the treatment of choice. This allows for the early ability to achieve weight-bearing status and has a low chance of non-union and allows early return to sports,

For older fractures that failed to heal with screw (established nonunion) or that show a wide gap on x-ray (hypotrophic nonunion); a more invasive open incision with bone graft and compression plate screw/fixation may be more appropriate.