Of all the fracture in the foot, a Jones fracture is the one fracture that has the reputation of being the most difficult to heal. This particular fracture was discovered by a Sir Robert Jones who sustained this injury after dancing, and he named it after himself. From then on, this specific break in the bone has been known commonly as the Jones Fracture.
A Jones fracture is actually a fracture of one of the long bones of the foot, or the metatarsal bone, that connects to the 5th digit pinky toe. The fracture is near the base of the bone, so when you look down at your foot, it is actually half the distance on the outside of the foot between the base of the 5th toe and the heel. It occurs due to injury such as twisting, falling, or landing funny. You may not even know that a fracture has occurred because sometimes people think they may have just sprained an ankle or twisted something, because often times you may be able to hobble around on your foot and mistaken it for an injury that you can "walk off" or something that may get better on its own.
This injury can be accurately diagnosed with an Xray or radiograph. Since there are other types of fractures that can occur in the 5th metatarsal and the outside of the foot, it is important to get a correct diagnosis in order to start treatment quickly. It may be wrongly diagnosed as an avulsion fracture, or a fracture of the base of the 5th metatarsal. In children, there are also open growth plates that should be considered whenever there is a fracture in the foot, so radiographs and a timely and accurate diagnosis is needed.
Timely treatment for this fracture is needed because of its location. There is a potentially poor blood supply to the area where it occurs on the bone, an existing area between 2 blood supplies. In addition, due to the location, various strong tendons insert near the area and have a tendency to pull the fracture apart, slowing healing if the foot is not adequately immobilized.
The treatment may range from surgery to immobilization in a nonweightbearing below knee cast. This immobilization is important to minimize the forces on the fracture and maximize chances for healing. In some cases, a bone stimulator may be needed as an adjunct treatment. Your doctor will determine whch treatment plan is the best for your situation. Following a strict treatment plan should heal your fracture and get you back on your feet.
If you have a foot or ankle injury and you are not sure how to treat it, make an appointment with one of our doctors at PPFAC. We will do a thorough exam, take on site X-rays, and review them with you so you understand your prognosis. With injuries like this, time is of the essence so don't delay in making an appointment to get it checked out.