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What Is a Jones Fracture, and How Is it Treated?

Walking and running may seem like simple tasks — but not when you have a broken bone in your foot. One of the common types of fractures that affects these activities is known as a Jones fracture. This fracture may seem small, but it leads to big problems if not treated properly.

At Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute, our specialized team has the knowledge and tools to help you get your broken foot back to feeling like new. Our team is led by our orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey McAlister, who’s an expert on different types of fractures, such as a Jones fracture.

Understanding a Jones fracture

Your feet are made up of many different bones, including tarsals and metatarsals. A Jones fracture occurs when the bone known as your fifth metatarsal breaks. Your fifth metatarsal is the bone that connects your little toe to the rest of your foot.

So what makes a Jones fracture different from other types of foot fractures? The answer is that the area that usually breaks is where the bone changes from dense bone to spongy type bone, and spongy bone doesn’t heal as well.

A Jones fracture is usually either caused by trauma to your foot or overuse of your foot. This is especially true if you have higher-than-normal arches in your feet. 

What are the symptoms?

Like most fractures, symptoms of a Jones fracture include pain, which is usually near the outside of your foot where your smallest toe is located. This pain usually leads to trouble putting weight on your foot. Other symptoms you might experience include:

Your symptoms depend on the severity of the fracture and how long it’s been bothering you. For example, if your fracture is due to a traumatic injury, your symptoms may be more severe than if your fracture occurred from overuse.

No matter what caused you to end up with a Jones fracture, one thing is for sure — you need to get treatment so you can get rid of the pain and get back to your life.

Treatments available for a Jones fracture

If you think you might have broken a bone in your foot, it’s important that you see Dr. McAlister as soon as possible to avoid further problems. Dr. McAlister assesses your injury through a physical exam and imaging studies. 

If he determines that you’ve suffered a Jones fracture, Dr. McAlister recommends several treatment options to help ease your pain and heal your foot. If the bones aren’t completely lined up, he needs to set the fracture in order for it to heal.

Once the bones are back in alignment, he may either put you in a cast or a boot while the bones knit back together. During the time that your foot is immobilized, you should avoid putting weight on the injured foot so it can heal properly.

However, if your fracture is severe, Dr. McAlister may recommend a surgical procedure known as an open reduction internal fixation of your fifth metatarsal. This involves him making a small incision in your foot and immobilizing your fracture with a screw or a plate.

After surgery, a Jones fracture takes about six to eight weeks to heal properly. In some cases, though, it may take up to three months for your foot to get back to normal.

If you’ve suffered a broken bone in your foot, don’t wait to get treatment. Call either of our convenient locations at 602-761-7819 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McAlister, or book an appointment online with us today.

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