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What factors affect the healing time of a Jones fracture?

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Quick Answer

Weight bearing or incomplete immobilization of the fractured foot can lengthen the healing time of a Jones fracture, which is a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in the foot. In general, Jones fractures have a longer healing time than other fractures, usually more than two months, according to Radiopaedia.

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Full Answer

A Jones fracture can be due to repetitive stress or an acute injury. Stress across the top of the foot while the ball of the foot is planted and the heel is lifted commonly causes these fractures, says American Health Network. These fractures cause pain and swelling on the outside of the foot, difficulty walking and possible bruising, reports the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Jones fractures occur in an area of low blood supply, explains American Health Network. Due to the lower blood supply, these fractures are at a higher risk of non-union, meaning the fracture does not completely heal, according to Radiopaedia. This occurs in 30 to 50 percent of Jones fractures.

For optimal healing, the patient should use a non-weight bearing cast for six to eight weeks. Weight bearing or mobility of the foot can cause displacement, meaning that the fractured bone is not correctly aligned. In cases with displacement or non-union, surgery may be necessary to implant hardware or graft bone tissue to immobilize the fracture, explains Radiopaedia.

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