Jones Fracture Treatment in Dallas & Frisco

FOOT PAIN TOP OF FOOT

Why Does the Top of My Foot Hurt?

A Jones fracture, named for an early 20th-century physician who reported on his own injury, is an injury that occurs in the metatarsal bone on the outside of your foot, in the area of the pinkie toe. 

These fractures are very common in athletes, particularly basketball and football players. People with high arched feet are more susceptible to Jones fractures than people with flatter feet.

Our SPORTS physicians in Frisco and Dallas see injuries, such as Jones Fractures, regularly. If you’re an athlete looking for the best treatment Frisco or Dallas has to offer, you’ve come to the right place.

Foot Anatomy

A Jones fracture occurs in the fifth metatarsal bone. This is located on the outside of the foot. Metatarsals are the bones that connect your ankle to your toes. The fifth metatarsal is slightly different from the other metatarsals, as it bulges at the base, while the other metatarsals do not.

A Jones Fracture is typically a transverse fracture. This means the fracture occurs what we would think of as horizontally, perpendicular to the long axis of the bone.

Most of the time, a Jones Fracture occurs in a part of the bone that is difficult to heal. It most often occurs in a junction of the bone, where the bone transitions from dense to spongy.

Because of the limited blood flow to this area, healing a Jones fracture can be a long and arduous process.

Pain on Top of Foot

A Jones fracture can either result from overuse of the fifth metatarsal area, or from trauma to the area. If they occur as a result of trauma, the injury is usually an inversion-type sprain, where the foot is twisted inward towards the other foot. This is the same type of injury that can result in an ankle fracture.
Jones fractures caused by overuse occur when repeated pressure is placed on the outer edge of the foot. This is why people with high arches are more susceptible to these fractures, as more pressure is placed on the outside of the foot.

A Jones fracture will have many of the same symptoms as other types of fractures. A person may or may not realize a fracture has occurred immediately; if the injury is a result of overuse or repeated stress on the bones, the symptoms may come to light more gradually.

Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling on the outside of the foot at the base of the little toe
  • Problems walking
  • Bruising

Dr. Berry will be able to determine if you have a Jones fracture or some other type of injury to the metatarsal. He will conduct a physical examination by pressing areas of the foot to assess the location of the pain. 

Dr. Berry or Dr. O'Brien will also question you about when and how your pain started. X-rays and other imaging scans may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. 

Getting the diagnosis correct is absolutely essential, as the precise nature of the diagnosis heavily affects treatment and management. 

The treatment of a Jones fracture depends mostly on the severity of the fracture itself. There are several methods you can employ to manage the pain and begin treating the injury, even before seeing a doctor. 

For instance, you can use the RICE method to reduce pain and swelling. The RICE method involves:

  • Resting the injury
  • Icing painful or swollen areas 
  • Compressing the affected area with an elastic wrapping
  • Elevating the injured foot above the level of the heart

This can help manage your pain and prevent the fracture from worsening while you await treatment.

If at all possible, treatment will be nonsurgical.

You will likely need to wear a cast or walking boot for 6 to 8 weeks to allow the Jones fracture time to heal. Because of the location of the fracture, it can sometimes be difficult to heal. The risk of re-injury is relatively high, so your orthopedic surgeon will be able to advise you on recovery time for your specific injury.

When athletes suffer a Jones fracture, the recommended treatment is usually an ankle arthroscopic surgery. During surgery, a small incision will be made, and a screw, rod, or plate will be inserted through the site of the fracture, squeezing the ends of the fracture together. 

Occasionally, a bone graft may be necessary, if the person has experienced repeated fractures. 

With nonsurgical treatment, a Jones Fracture may take up to 12 weeks to heal, though the average recovery time is more like 6 to 8 weeks.

With a surgical approach, a person who has suffered a Jones fracture can expect a return to all activities in about 4 months. A doctor will likely recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and ligaments of the foot during this time. If the fracture required bone grafting during treatment, recovery time could be significantly longer, sometimes taking up to 6 or 8 months.

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