Causes and cures of Jones fracture

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Jones fracture
Jones fracture

The fracture of fifth metatarsal bone is known as Jones fracture. Sir Robert Jones first described this specific fracture so it’s named after him. It is also known as the dancer’s fracture as a lot of people encounter it while dancing. The fracture usually occurs at the base of the fifth metatarsal. Due to its many similar aspects, the Jones fracture is confused with the sprain; hence a thorough diagnosis should be performed to diagnose it. Unfortunately the healing time of Jones fracture gets prolonged as there is less blood supply to this area. Surgery is performed to correct it in routine.  If it is not addressed, the problem may become chronic and can become more severe in some later stage of age, so treat it as early as you know about it.

What are causes of Jones fracture?

The application of the repetitive stress on the foot such as during some sports or physical activity like dancing causes the fracture most often. Overusing the foot is also a risk factor for having Jones fracture. The direct traumas such as fall of a heavy object on foot can also result in such fracture. The sudden forceful twisting of foot or ankle produces the Jones fracture. In short, inversion injuries are main culprits for breaking of fifth metatarsal bone.

Symptoms of Jones fracture:

The major signs and symptoms of Jones fracture are:

  • Severe pain
  • Inflammation
  • Redness of overlying skin
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Hurting in walking
  • Difficulty in moving foot
  • Tenderness

Diagnosing the Jones fractures:

The doctor might ask about the recent physical activities, when you approach him. He will also perform a general physical examination of the foot to check the symptoms of the fracture. Usage of imaging techniques like x-rays is a must in this case. X-rays film will confirm the fracture and will also help locating it. In some complex cases, more advanced techniques like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be used.

Treatment options for Jones fracture:

The treatment is not very easy for the Jones fracture unfortunately due to some reasons. The blood supply to this area is less and the peroneus brevis muscle is pulling it always so bones parts don’t fuse together in a good manner. Treatment may include the non-surgical or the surgical methods.

Non-surgical treatment:

The non-invasive options for curing Jones fracture include the casting, splints or use of the walking boot. Most of the times, these techniques work thus, surgery is not required. The foot movements should be limited to as much as possible. Weight should not be applied on the foot as it will again cause the bones to split away. The anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to reduce the tenderness, inflammation and pain in the fracture site. Casting is usually the best method to heal the Jones fractures as it minimizes the foot movements and helps the healing of fracture. The healing by casting can take a long time.

Surgical Treatment:

It is relatively a rapid method to get cured. A small screw is used to put the broken bone pieces together and they join after a passage of time. Surgery is minor and treatment is fast.

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