Jones Fracture / 5th metatarsal fracture

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June 28 , almost 3 weeks ago, I rolled my ankle while running and immediately knew something was wrong. I didn't even try walking on it so I just hopped my way to my room and had my mom put ice on it. It was swollen and hurt but pain was bearable. I took advil anyway because I'm a wuss and was scared the pain would get worse. My parents didn't want to take me to the hospital because they thought I just sprained my ankle, but about 2 hours later they gave in. When we got there, they eventually took X-rays and the doctor told me I had a jones fracture and it involved a cast for 6-8 weeks and possible surgery. He didn't specify too much because a specialist was coming in to talk to me. Eventually he came in and said the same thing, but he did say he didn't think I would need surgery but he would perform it if I was up to week 12 with no healing. With my 18th birthday in 2 days and my summer ahead of me I knew it was overrrrr, not to sound dramatic lol but the crutches are way too hard for me. He ended up putting me in a boot and told me not to put any weight on it. I had a follow up appt in 2 weeks. Within those two weeks, the swelling went down like 95%, maybe even more. I have no pain at all. The bruising is still there, though, even now. At the appt he took x rays and said it looked good, so nothing shifted. He didn't specify if it showed signs of healing but im sure it was too soon to tell. He even grabbed the heck out of my foot and squeezed on the fracture site and it did not hurt at all. He gave me another 4 weeks in the boot with NWB. Like I said, I'm almost on week 3 (this wednesday) and besides the bruising, my foot looks completely fine. So I am hoping this means healing. I'm not an athlete, I just work on my feet so I'm out for these 6 weeks. I'm praying by week 6 I can start walking and go back. I know it takes longer than that to actually get back to original state but I have nothing but good signs with my foot so I can't help but hope I'll be back to work after week 6. I also have been taking VitaminD and C supplements. The only thing I don't have is a bone stimulator, which I'm going to ask my mom to check with the insurance to see if we can get one... I'm so desperate to heal! All these stories I read online are pretty scary, my doctor even told me to stop reading them lol. I've been following his orders though and have not put any weight on my foot, so I am trying to be optimistic! Would love to hear some stories you guys may have regarding a jones fracture - good or bad. 

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  • Posted

    I have spent many hours online researching forums and articles and did not find many happy stories, so I feel obligated to share mine now that I've received some good news. Hopefully it helps someone out there feel a little less uneasy and gives some hope for a full recovery. **Sorry in advance, it's SUPER long** (been inside a little TOO long haha)

    [Keep in mind I am a 30 y/o F, 5'8, 150lbs, in excellent health (physically active pre-surgery, runner, plant-based vegan diet, positive mental attitude, overall happy person]

    June 17/17:  I went on a kayaking trip with work buddies and about halfway through the river we came up on a clearing that had a huge tree and a tire swing hanging out over head. As we came up on it I thought, "I'm totally Tarzan-ing off that!" and was the first to climb up the side of the bank. Unknowingly, the water level had dropped considerably right around where the swing was located, (why I didn't check, I will be asking myself until the day I die) so after I let go I landed straight below into the very shallow water landing on both feet and instantly thought "OH SH*T... THIS IS BAD" so my body's instant reaction was to pop up off of my feet and I somehow managed to twist while I was at it. I still landed standing up, albeit I was a little wobbly and in shock. My friends behind me shouted "You okay?" and I paused.... for a long time... thought about it and replied, "No. No, I'm not." I did not feel any pain in the moment following my accident (my leg felt oddly wobbly) and didn't feel any pain leading up to the ambulance arriving. I was shaking a lot, talking A LOT (apparently, I talk a lot when I'm in shock.) When my coworkers lifted my kayak up the side of the bank (team building) I was able to see the damage done to my legs. My LL had a huge hematoma and flopped over as if it was unattached to my person- it felt and looked like a rubber gag leg. Thankfully no bones jutted out, as I would have vomited making matter much worse, I'm sure. My RL looked fine, mostly. The RF had some swelling and more bruising down the outside edge starting at the ankle, but other than that I felt no pain in it. 

    I made it to the emergency room unscathed, although I'm pretty sure Scott, the EMS driver, hit every pot hole on purpose. There was a lot of joke-yelling, "Damnit Scott!" ... okay, half joking. The most painful part of everything were the x-rays and being lifted from the stretcher to my "hotel suite" hospital bed, it was the most pain I've ever been in, in my life (I don't have children, so I guess I have that pain to look forward too.)  At that point the swelling had gone up considerably- the pain rose. My doctor came in to go over the x-rays with me and told me that in my LL I fractured my tibia and fibula badly in spiral fractures, jacking up my ankle pretty gnarly. In my RL/RF I had sustained two metatarsal fractures- one of them being a non-displaced dreaded "Jones fracture." I couldn't believe I had broken my RF too, as there was no pain, but he said my brain's pain receptors were working overtime with the LL so it wasn't uncommon.

    Since I broke both, and definitely needed plates/screws in the LL with a next day surgery, the doctor decided to wait and see if my Jone's fracture would heal on its own and to boot my RF right away. A custom orthotic company in the area made me a boot that had an air pump to stabilize my ankle and was slightly curved at the bottom to take pressure off of my metatarsals, but still allowed me to use crutches while my LL leg healed post surgery. I'm not going to lie, it was awkward as hell to balance in that Air Jordan moon boot, but the alternative was a wheel chair and I just wasn't all about that. After the surgery on my LL, I was in a plaster back with bandages. 

    2 weeks post accident/op: Stitches came out of my LL and I was fit with my taller CAM boot (so many awful velcro straps! I can't tell you how many times I almost peed my pants racing to get those boots on so I could crutch to the the bathroom! Seriously, there were a few close calls.) I was told to wear a compression stocking at all times unless showering and put on an aspirin regimen to prevent DVT. My RF was still in no pain, but the x-rays did not show any sign of bone healing, so I was still NWB for both with the exception of getting to the bathroom and back.  I was not required to wear my boots to bed or when I was sitting in a relaxed elevated position. My ortho told me that the fractures in my RF were in hard to heal areas (he said a 1-in-4 chance it wont heal) and that there was a possibility we may need to pin it if it came to that.

    4 weeks: I stopped taking my pain medicine completely. Not only because I ran out, but because I didn't love the way I felt on it- sort of wibbly wobbly timey wimey if I had to describe it. I was consistently taking pain killers for a good week after surgery and then started to wean off from every four hours to every six hours and then only once a day as needed. Primarily used ice to control pain, did resort to using 2 Ibuprofen twice because  I had been vertical too long those days and ice wasn't cutting it.

    [[  I want to take this moment right here to say that between operation - week 6, post op/fracture depression is very REAL and very serious. If you are feeling hopeless, alone, sad, etc. CALL SOMEONE. Reach out to family and friends. DO NOT hesitate. My friends, co-workers, and family (especially my husband) saved my sanity and my well being. It is REALLY hard dealing with injury and lack of mobility when you are normally a healthy active person. Even though you realize people have it far worse than you, it still knocks you down and you have to fight to get back up. It's not easy, but it is possible. On days that I was all by myself at home I did chair exercises & chair yoga I found on YouTube, and the endorphins/ blood flow really had a positive impact on my day and I truly believe thats one of the main contributing factors that helped heal my bones so quickly/ well. ]]

    6 weeks post: Evening before appointment I spent all night on forums trying to prepare myself for the possibility that my Jones fracture didn't heal and that I might need another surgery and what questions to ask so I could see if there was a way around it. I read so many sad/ disheartening stories I couldn't sleep and was so worried I'd be out of work for even longer than expected (I work at a brewery and am on my feet a LOT.) I went into the appointment excited, but also nervous and prepared for the worst. Thankfully though, my ortho came into the room and gave me the good news: he said my xrays looked great! He told me that not only was my RF healing, it was completely healed and used the words "rock solid" to describe the bone. He was very impressed. He also couldn't believe that lack of swelling I had in my plated leg. He just kept moving my ankle around in disbelief and kept asking me if it hurt (it was only slightly sore) I was told to "keep doing whatever your doing" and to start wearing a running shoe on my now HEALED Jones fractured RF and to wear the matching shoe on my other foot indoors and use 30% body weight pressure (use pain as a guide) around the house with my crutches! While I know everyone is different, and injuries are different, it is so relieving that I wasn't one of the really bad Jones fracture stories.

    Main things that I believe helped contribute to my personal recovery (keep in mind I'm not a doctor and not everything works for everybody):

    -WATER #1 best thing I did was increase my water intake. By a lot. Not only did it flush out the residual pain killers in my system, I felt ultra hydrated my skin became more plump, radiant and less dull looking and I just felt "better." 

    -NO alcohol. This was rough, working at a craft brewery I'm accustomed to drinking good beer whenever I want. But beer/alcohol can interfere with bone healing and I didn't want to chance it. I did have small sips of whatever my husband was drinking to taste and on rare occasion I'd indulge in a 6oz something... but overall staying away from alcohol was a good choice.

    -NO smoking. Do I need to really say much more? I don't smoke and I didn't pick it up while being on fracture house arrest either. It's just a bad idea and restricts blood flow which is horrible for healing a Jones fracture.

    -Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Being safe while exercise is key, and by just doing something active and keeping your mind occupied really helps the positivity/oxygen/blood flow around your body and I feel it was crucial to my recovery.

    -Diet is important. What you put into your body affects it for better or for worse. For me, I've been plant-based vegan for 3 years now and the lack of high inflammation foods in my diet ie: cutting out milk & meat, really helped curb the pain of swelling. Also, I stay away from highly processed food in general- and stick with whole nourishing foods high in nutrients, so my sodium intake was lower (helping again with inflammation/swelling) and my blood pressure was on the lower end of healthy. The doctors just kept saying my blood pressure was perfect and I should never have a heart problem. I kept my protein way up by eating a lot of legumes (lentils) and beans (black, pinto, etc), nuts and seeds (one brazil nut a day, almonds and hemp hearts on whole grain cereal, etc) cooked quinoa, and also upped my tempeh intake as it is high in protein as well as a good bioavailable source of calcium and naturally gut protecting probiotics. I ate/eat a ton of vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, and thankfully, since it is summer, I have a lot of fresh fruit available to choose from. I cut back on sweets considerably (I have a huge sweet tooth) and that alone made a big difference in how I felt over all. I don't drink soda to begin with and started drinking a lot more green and herbal teas. If anyone is interested, there are a lot of great resources online and in print that can help steer you in a more plant based/nutritious meal direction. "The China Study" by T.Colin Campbell, PHD and Thomas M Campbell, MD is an enlightening scientific must read. "Eat to Live" by Dr Joel Fuhrman is an easy to read comprehensive nutrition guide with practical information. The documentary "Forks over Knifes" and "What the Health" on netflix are life changing. Even if you don't agree with me and the countless studies/scientists, it's hard for anyone to argue that adding more fruits and veggies won't help aid recovery, so there's that! smile

    - I tried to stay away from Ibuprofen as much as possible since there is a lot of controversy surrounding whether it affects healing time or not, erring on the side of caution.

    -I did my band exercises (almost) every day, multiple times, as directed. 

    -Deep breathing/ guided meditation was a HUGE life saver for pain management. Seriously. Look some up on YouTube and find one that doesn't make you completely lose it laughing. (some are really hard to listen too and feel SILLY) But there are some that truly make you stop and relax and control your pain in a way that is so noticeable that the one night at the hospital, when they first splinted me, my initial swelling was so bad inside of it I couldn't stop crying/yelping, I pulled up a meditation on my phone started following it and within minutes I was calmed down enough that they were able to rewrap my dressing (it was WAY too tight) and the nurses asked me if I was told to use meditation and that they would suggest it to their other patients since it worked so well/ efficiently!

    -ICE ICE  and elevate. Keep it above your heart, BABY!

    Just keep your head up and follow your doctor's orders (unless you feel there is a mis-judgement and then always get a second opinion or ask more questions) Be your own advocate! You can do this. Even if you are on the rougher side and struggling, or if there is no way around surgery for you, you can still do something to help make things go better in recovery.

    Now, I'm on a new part of this journey of trying to regain the strength/ muscle I lost while NWB, it's going to be a long road til I'm 100% but there is light at the end of the tunnel! I look like Bambi taking his first steps, and I've never been more proud of myself.

    Cheers, and best wishes to everyone who is going through a similar experience. You got this!

    • Posted

      What a "note" and so happy you are mending!! Are you young? I at 68, also had an easy process however; did have a screw inserted in my non displaced Jones fracture. Healing was 4 weeks NWB, 4 walking in boot then back on my horses!!!

  • Posted

    Hello, I’m 24 years old. I twisted my foot from a tiny step and kept walking for around a week,limping and frequent pain shocks. I went to hospital after a week where they informed me about the fifth metatarsal base fracture which needed operation, they did put on a cast. On the day of operation the main dr. came in and informed me that my bone wasnt dislocated so they won’t operate unless it does dislocate and it’ll be healed properly in 3 weeks time (on internet it was said 6 weeks in articles, I’m totally confused) . I asked if I could put on weight on the foot, she said yes I can. I’m confused now, putting weight on it ,while cast is on doesn’t pain at the moment. Shall I continue normal activities like attending university classes etc.? What are chances for it to dislocate in a cast?? Please help me! 😢

  • Posted

    Mine wasn't a Jones fracture (it was the middle three metatarsal bones I broke, not the fifth) but I had the same worries when I broke my foot. Didn't go to hospital for 5 days after the injury thinking it was just badly bruised at first, then got put in a boot for 6 and a half weeks. I was so worried about displacing the bones that I didn't put weight on my foot for the first 3 weeks even though I was allowed to, and spent the full six weeks either sitting down or miserably hobbling about on my crutches because I couldn't balance in the boot without them! I will say that when the doctors first let me walk without the boot my foot and ankle were really weak and stiff from lack of use so it took me a while to walk without a limp even after my foot had healed, but I think some people bounce back quicker than others depending on your pre-injury level of fitness. It's been 3 months since I broke my foot and it's almost totally back to normal now - it still aches a bit if I run or walk too fast, but otherwise I'm fine.

    • Posted

      Also - don't read horror stories online! Remember that it's only a minority of people who have ongoing problems after a fracture - they're just more likely to talk about it on health forums than people who healed fine and moved on with their lives. I spent weeks researching the type of injury I had and it had me convinced I'd never walk unaided again, so I ended up being way more cautious and pessimistic than I needed to be. Wishing you a speedy recovery! smile

    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your helpful reply...

      I am currently in a cast, it’s been a week now since I the cast and two weeks since I fell. I don’t feel pain at all but discomfort sometimes if the foot hangs too long.  I have an X Ray tomorrow to check for any displacement. What are the symptoms of having a displacement though? Any ideas? Cuz having no pain at the moment even when putting weight on heels, is it an indication to a displacement? And tomorrow they’ll decide if I’ll be having an operation or a walking boot . Thanks once  again!! smile

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