Early Weightbearing Protocol in Operative Fixation of Acute Jones Fractures

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Abstract

The treatment of Jones fractures has been controversial in terms of nonoperative versus operative management, given the high incidence of nonunion secondary to the delicate blood supply to the proximal fifth metatarsal. We report a retrospective review of a patient cohort treated with an early weightbearing protocol after operative intramedullary fixation in acute Jones fractures. Thirty-one consecutive patients with an acute Jones fracture underwent operative fixation with a single intramedullary solid screw. The postoperative protocol consisted of immediate weightbearing in a controlled ankle motion boot for 2 weeks with a gradual transition to regular shoes at 2 weeks postoperative. At 2 weeks, the patients were allowed to perform low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, biking, or elliptical training. Patients were allowed to return to all activities, as tolerated, regardless of radiographic healing, at 6 weeks postoperatively. Serial postoperative radiographs were taken at 2-week intervals to determine radiographic union. Our patient population consisted of 24 males (77.42%) and 7 females (22.58%), with a mean average age of 37.5 ± 12.59 years and mean average body mass index of 25.7 ± 2.32 kg/m2. Fracture union was observed in all 31 patients (100%) at a mean average of 5.7 ± 1.47 (range 4 to 10) weeks. Two (6.5%) patients required hardware removal, with one (3.2%) experiencing sural neuritis. This review of patients undergoing early weightbearing after operative fixation of an acute Jones fracture demonstrated a satisfactory incidence of union compared with traditional postoperative protocols at a mean follow-up duration of 18.58 ± 5.66 months.

Level of Clinical Evidence: 4

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