There are many types of leg fractures, one of the most common and quite serious is Jones fracture. Someone who experiences this problem will experience bruising and swelling in the legs so that they have difficulty supporting the body's weight and walking.
What is a Jones fracture?
Jones fracture is a condition of a leg fracture in the fifth metatarsal bone on the toe. The fifth metatarsal is a long bone on the outside of the foot that is connected to the smallest toe or little finger. The term Jones fracture was first introduced by Sir Robert Jones, a bone surgeon who in 1902 injured his leg.
This type of fracture is among the most serious because the area of injury receives less blood than the other foot area. As a result, healing becomes more difficult.
Jones fracture cause
The cause of this one leg fracture usually occurs due to sudden trauma to the foot. For example, dropping a heavy object in the foot accidentally.
The main function of the metatarsal bone is to help a person balance when standing and walking. Because this bone is very useful and used in everyday life, it is usually easy to get hurt. This injury can also occur due to a severe injury to the foot that makes the metatarsal bone broken or cracked.
Jones fracture symptoms
Jones fractures have many of the same symptoms as other fractures. Some symptoms that are felt when a person experiences this type of leg fracture, namely:
- Pain and swelling on the outside of the foot at the base of the little finger.
- It's hard to walk.
How do doctors diagnose Jones fracture?
If you or the closest person has a trauma or a sudden attack on the leg bone, immediately see a bone surgeon as soon as possible. Usually the doctor starts the examination by asking how the injury can occur. The doctor will also ask when and what kind of pain you feel in the injured leg.
Next the doctor will examine your feet by pressing different areas of the foot to see your reaction and find out which parts have problems with your injury. For sharper accuracy, the doctor will diagnose you with X-rays to see the condition of the foot clearly.
You need emergency medical care if the injured leg has:
- Swelling is getting worse with pain, numbness and tingling in the injured leg, wrist, or foot as a whole.
- The injured skin turns purplish.
Because Jones fracture is a serious and often difficult to cure leg fracture, don't ignore the condition. Check with your doctor immediately after you experience an injury so the doctor can immediately diagnose the condition of your feet and provide proper care.
Treatment options for Jones fracture
There are various ways to treat this one leg fracture. Usually the treatment plan depends on:
- Severity of injury, one of which is how much damage occurs.
- Age of the patient, because usually children recover faster from this condition than adults and the elderly.
- Overall health condition.
- Level of patient activity.
Here are some treatment methods for Jones fracture:
Surgery is done to attach screws to the metatarsal bone. This screw helps the bones to bend and rotate after healing. Usually when setting up the doctor will use X-ray help to place the screw in the right position. In this process, the doctor can also use bone plates and other components to help secure the screws installed. One technique used is by removing damaged bone around the fracture and replacing it with a bone graft before implanting the screw.
Your surgeon will also use a bone healing stimulator by supplying a low electric current to the fault site to encourage healing. This is done especially if the healing process is slow.
The recovery time from the surgical process takes approximately 7 weeks. In addition, you will also be asked to maintain an ideal body weight so that your legs are not overloaded.
Quoted from Healthline, a study in 2012 stated that 97 percent of sufferers of Jones fracture recovered after surgery by placing a screw on the bone.
2. Non-surgical treatment
Non-surgical or non-surgical treatment is done by using a leg support device so that the injured leg is not burdened by body weight. You are usually advised to use crutches as a walking aid in the healing process.
However, this process usually takes a longer healing time than surgery, which is around 8 weeks.
Jones fracture complications
Because of the limited blood flow to the area, Jones fractures may not be cured as before compared to other metatarsal fractures, unless you choose a surgical procedure. In some cases, people who choose non-permanent care 15-20 percent cannot recover.
The possible complications are:
- There is blood clotting as a side effect of surgery and anesthesia.
- Requires operations more than once.
- Depletion of muscle tissue.
- Continuous pain.
The process of healing leg fractures
The length of cure for this condition depends on the type of treatment and condition of each person. After treatment you need to do the following three tips:
- Maintain an ideal body weight.
- Lifting legs that get injured every day for 2-3 weeks.
- Rest as much as possible and avoid strenuous activities.
Usually Jones fracture patients can carry out normal activities after 3-4 months of treatment. Doctors also usually recommend physical therapy and exercise to help the healing process. The following tips can you practice to support the healing process, namely:
- Do not support the body on the injured leg. It's better to use crutches.
- Try to place the injured leg in a high position. For example, when sitting, put your feet on another chair with pads under it.
- Apply ice packs on your feet for 20 minutes several times a day, especially in the early post-treatment period.
- Take vitamin D or calcium supplements if prescribed to help with bone healing.
- Take ibuprofen or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) when you feel pain in the first 24 hours.
- Avoid smoking because smokers are usually at high risk for failure to cure.
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