Henry sidelined by Jones

The Tennessee Titans star running back Derrick Henry, one of the top players in the NFL, has been sidelined by a seemingly simple foot fracture. The fracture that he sustained is called a Jones fracture. This is a fracture of the 5th metatarsal bone which is on the outside of the foot behind the 5th toe. Fractures of this bone can happen through direct or indirect trauma and can occur anywhere along the length of the bone. A Jones fracture is a fracture of the 5th metatarsal near its base in the middle part of the foot. This usually occurs through indirect trauma such as twisting or bending. The part of the bone where this fracture occurs has a lower blood supply than the rest of the bone and as such are notoriously slow to heal. In athletes and active individuals, the medical literature supports surgical repair for a faster return to sports. Surgical repair involves putting the facture pieces together and holding them together with surgical hardware. The hardware used is based on surgeon preference, fracture pattern and bone quality, and can include metal pins, screws, plates or a combination of devices. The patient is usually kept non weight bearing for 4-6 week to allow the fracture to begin to heal. A period of protected weight bearing in a walking boot follows for an additional 4-6 weeks. Return to activity is based on x-ray findings and clinical examination. Non weight bearing rehabilitation exercise can begin after 2 weeks from surgery. Weight bearing strengthening and balance exercises can usually begin after 6 -8 weeks. Even with surgical care, these fractures can still be slow to solidify. Bone stimulation devices are often used with these fractures to help the healing process. These devices used electromagnetic waves or pulsed ultrasound waves to stimulate bone production in the fracture area. Anyone that has Derrick on their fantasy football roster is wondering if he will be able to play again this season. If everything goes well, he could possibly return to play in mid January albeit not at his pre injury level. If he were my patient, I would caution him on returning too soon. Should the fracture not heal correctly, revision surgery would be necessary, which can be more complicated than the initial surgery and take even longer to recover from. We are here for all of your foot trauma needs, including the pesky Jones fracture!

Author
Paul Betschart, DPM Dr. Betschart has over 26 years of experience in treating patients of all ages with all kinds of foot and ankle conditions. His mission is to provide you with helpful information about foot and ankle issues and the latest developments in healthcare.

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