Jones Fractures and the Risk of Complications

Without prompt medical attention, there’s a roughly one–in–three chance of developing a related condition called nonunion. Nonunion is a medical term used to describe the body’s inability to heal a fracture. Most medical researchers define nonunion as a fracture that lasts for a minimum of nine months, with no evident signs of healing for at least three months prior to diagnosis. 

Nonunion cases require even more extensive treatment and create the potential for further complications including, but not limited to:

In the most severe cases, nonunion-type injuries can cause cell and tissue death—and sometimes even necessitate amputation. 

Treating a Jones Fracture

Jones fractures can be treated with or without surgery. Here are some of the most common techniques we use at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle. 


If your fracture is mild and the bones weren’t displaced, your podiatrist may only recommend the short-term use of a cast or immobilizing boot. 

Closed Reduction

Closed reduction is a non-surgical procedure that re-aligns displaced bones through the use of physical manipulation. Your podiatrist may give you a local anesthetic or sedative, after which they’ll begin moving the displaced metatarsal back into place. Closed reduction procedures typically require patients to wear a cast or a boot for up to eight weeks afterward. 

Internal Fixation Surgery

Serious Jones fractures may need internal fixation surgery, a type of realignment surgery that puts broken bones back into their correct position. Once relocated, these bones are held together using a piece of metal—typically a rod, a combination of plates and screws, or pins and wires. Although internal fixation surgery sometimes has a months-long recovery period, it eliminates the greater risk of future complications. 

Bone Grafting Surgery 

Bone graft surgery is usually only recommended for the most severe fractures, or in cases where the injured metatarsal isn’t healing at a typical rate. During a bone graft procedure, your podiatrist inserts additional bone tissue to reconnect the fractured bone. This is typically followed by internal fixation surgery. Although bone graft surgery might sound intimidating, it’s an outpatient procedure—it only takes several hours to complete, and you can most likely go home the same day. 

Dr. P. Roman Burk
Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.