Jones Fracture

A Jones’ Fracture describes a fracture at the base of the fifth metatarsal bone (long bone of the foot) near the bony bump (styloid process) on the outside of the midfoot. This is the most common type of metatarsal fracture and can limit your ability to walk and perform daily activities.  

What causes a Jones Fracture?

A Jones’ fracture can either develop over time like a stress fracture, or may occur suddenly as a result of trauma or injury. Inversion sprains or twisting motions where the outside of the foot suddenly comes in contact with the ground can result in a Jones fracture. It may also develop from repetitive stress over time that causes small hairline cracks and leads to a gradual onset of painful symptoms.  

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of a Jones’ fracture can include:
  • Pain and tenderness on the outside of the foot through the fifth metatarsal
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain on weight-bearing
  • Difficulty wearing shoes

How is it treated?

The first step to treatment is differentiating a Jones fracture from other fractures that can occur in the same region, such as an avulsion fracture or a spiral/oblique shaft fracture. Resting, using ice, avoiding painful activity and taking anti-inflammatories where appropriate can then help to reduce painful symptoms. Because the area of the Jones’ fracture has a lower blood supply than other foot regions, it can make healing slower and more difficult. Treatment then needs to address the cause of the fracture to reduce the risk of it happening again, particularly where the cause is repetitive stress to the region. This may include:
  • Orthotics to correct any biomechanical or alignment issues of the feet and legs and alleviate pressure away from the fifth metatarsal
  • Bracing or a cast to better immobilise your foot and improve healing outcomes
  • Assess footwear to ensure they are helping and not hindering recovery by allowing more strain through the outside of the foot
  • Activity modification to avoid further damage to the bone
  • Surgical intervention may be indicated for some people depending on the severity of the injury