Jones Fracture

Symptoms of Jones Fractures

Jones fractures produce

  • pain,
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • difficulty walking

Some people may experience pain before the fracture occurs

What is a jones fracture?

A Jones fracture is the name often used for a fracture at the base of the fifth metatarsal, the bone on the outer side of your foot. Jones fractures are one of the most common foot injuries. These fractures cause pain and swelling on the outside of the mid-foot.

Any weight bearing is painful, making it almost impossible to run, let alone cut or change direction. The fracture occurs at a part of the bone that has a limited blood supply, and this can affect healing. They tend to occur in people that have a high arch foot shape or a lower extremity alignment that tends to load the outside of the foot.

These fractures can be acute and caused when the foot twist. Or they can be stress fractures and occur overtime or after a sudden increase in high intensity impact.

Studies have also found people with higher arches are more likely to have this fracture.

Reasons to see a physician

If you think you have a fracture, it is important to see a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible. A fracture that is not treated can lead to chronic foot pain and arthritis and affect your ability to walk.

While you are waiting to see your doctor, you should do the following:

  • Apply ice to help reduce swelling.
  • Elevate your foot as much as possible.
  • Limit weight bearing.

Lightly wrap your foot in a soft compressive dressing

nonsurgical treatments

Your doctor may recommend treating the Jones fracture without surgery. This involves a period of immobilization in a non-weight bearing cast or boot. Studies have shown that some of these injuries fail to heal.

Surgical treatments

In the cases a Jones fracture fails to heal, it’s a condition called “nonunion.” When this happens, surgery is often required to treat the fracture. During surgery, your foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon will insert a screw to stabilize the fracture while it heals.

Prevention methods and other tips

Some ways to help protect your feet from stress and acute fractures include:

  • Use proper equipment. Old or worn running shoes may lose their ability to absorb shock and can lead to injury. Also, steel toe boots can protect your feet against falling objects if you are often in situations which have a risk of falling objects
  • Start new activity slowly. Gradually increase your time, speed, and distance. In most cases, a 10 percent increase per week is appropriate.
  • Cross train. Vary your activities to help avoid overstressing one area of your body. For example, alternate a high-impact sport like running with lower-impact sports like swimming or cycling.
  • Stop your activity if pain or swelling occurs. Rest for a few days. If the pain continues, see your doctor.


A Jones fracture is the name often used for a fracture at the base of the fifth metatarsal, the bone on the outer side of your foot. This fracture typically takes longer to heal due to the lack of blood supply to this area.

Most commonly, the fifth metatarsal fractures through the base of the bone. This usually occurs from an injury where the foot and ankle are twisted downward and inward. However sometimes they can also be stress fractures which developed slowly overtime.

Recovery and return to activity

Recovery is about eight weeks with or without surgery. After the bone has healed, some patients will need physical therapy to regain motion and strength.

Athletes typically return to playing sports at around 8 weeks. Athletic trainers and physical therapists help with this process. Some may wear a clamshell orthosis or turf toe plate when returning to sports, particularly athletes who play on hard surfaces such as artificial turf.

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