Jones Fracture Surgical Versus Nonsurgical Treatment

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Sixty-three patients with 66 transverse and short oblique fractures of the proximal shaft of the fifth metatarsal bone (Jones fracture) were evaluated an average of five years (range, one to ten years) after the injury. There were 27 acute fractures and 39 chronic, or stress, fractures. The primary treatment was surgical for one third of the injuries and nonsurgical for the others. Surgical treatment consisted of the insertion of medullary screws. Non-surgical treatment consisted of the application of either a plaster cast or an elastic bandage. Almost one fourth of the fractures treated nonsurgically later had to be treated surgically because of delayed unions or refractures. Late surgery was required in 12% of acute fractures and in 50% of chronic fractures with sclerosis narrowing the medullary canal. Irrespective of the primary treatment, all the patients had full function at the time of the follow-up evaluation, and no nonunions were diagnosed.

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