The Dreaded Jones Fracture: March Madness is Injury Season
Posted by Jenn F. on Thursday, February 21st, 2013
The only good thing about the month of February is that it’s just a few short weeks before the month of March. Pretty soon, it’ll be that time of year again, folks: time for NCAA parties from the tip of Maine to California’s sunny coast. March Madness is an American favorite and for good reason: college basketball embodies so much of what American sports fans hold dear. These are players we’ve been following. We know about their dramatic family lives, their brushes with the law, their outstanding jump shots. These are young, promising players, many of whom are headed to distinguished careers in the NBA. And March Madness is when we get to see them all play each other in a jam-packed, no holds barred basketball off. It’s glorious. Not so glorious: the many foot and ankle injuries these poor players have suffered on the country’s college courts. Today I’m going to talk about one injury in particular: a difficult, painful fracture that, for a b-ball player, can mean the sidelines. I’m talking to you, Jones.
A Jones fracture (named after Sir Robert Jones back in 1902) is a fracture of the fifth metatarsal, the long thin bone that runs along the outside of your foot. These fractures are in the midfoot, often right near the tendon attachment at the base of the metatarsal. This tendon is what makes Jones fractures so difficult: every time that tendon pulls on the bone, it prevents the bone from knitting. So, treatment requires total immobilization with a cast for 6-8 weeks. If you’re an NCAA player unlucky enough to suffer a Jones in February, this could bench you for the entire March Madness tournament.
This is a common fracture for b-ballers, often caused by a poor landing. I actually suffered a Jones fracture in middle school from a poorly executed dance step. I rolled my foot, felt a pop, and the rest is history. While good shoes and consistent, well-paced conditioning can protect you from many sports injuries, Jones fractures are notoriously freak-like in their randomness. Even the strongest, most highly-trained athletes with the most expensive and scientifically-designed shoes in the world can suffer them.
The best thing you can do if you suspect you may have a Jones fracture is to seek immediate treatment. Try The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine for an athlete-centric approach to treatment and rehabilitation.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.