Retrospective study of fifth metatarsal fractures

KD Holubec Department of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Hayward, CA.

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JM Karlin Department of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Hayward, CA.

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BL Scurran Department of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Hayward, CA.

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On the basis of the authors' results in treating avulsion fractures of the tuberosity, immobilization in a short leg weightbearing cast for 4 weeks is the preferred treatment. If still symptomatic at 4 weeks, some patients may require further immobilization for an additional 1 to 3 weeks. Rarely do these patients require surgery. In patients with these types of fractures, no angulation or displacement deformity was seen on x-rays, so open reduction was not warranted. Although the study does not strongly support the view that delayed healing of Jones fractures is associated with weightbearing cast treatment, the authors still tend to recommend treatment with a short leg nonweightbearing plaster cast for 6 weeks. Patients may not tolerate such treatment for this amount of time. To encourage better patient compliance, a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks in a nonweightbearing cast followed by 3 weeks in a weightbearing cast is recommended. Although open reduction was indicated in a few cases, all patients with Jones fractures, aged 20, 22, 24, 24, and 27 years, declined that option. Specifically, one patient had a delayed union of the Jones-type fracture (Fig. 4). In spite of being young and athletic, and thus at high risk for refracture, he decided against open reduction internal fixation and opted for prolonged casting.

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