Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant was forced to the sidelines after injuring his foot during last Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. The wide receiver broke the fifth metatarsal of his right foot during gameplay. Coach Jason Garrett said that surgery is required.
Bryant’s representatives reported to the Dallas Morning News that the injury is a Jones fracture.
A Jones fracture is a specific type of fracture that occurs in the fifth metatarsal – the long, thin bone that leads to the pinky toe. The break strikes the portion of the bone closest to the base, which is the area of the metatarsal that receives less blood. Unfortunately for Bryant, this means that his recovery time will be probably be significantly longer than most foot injuries.
Jones fractures can either be stress fractures – small hairline fractures that split and grow over time – or acute breaks. Both types of Jones fractures typically result from repetitive overuse. They are rare, but difficult to treat.
Bryant’s Jones Fracture Treatment
Bryant is expected to return to the field in 4-6 weeks, but with such a serious injury, there are no guarantees. Surgeries like this require the placement of screws, which can make for a tricky healing process. Last year, NBA forward Kevin Durant’s Jones fracture took no less than three surgeries to correct, effectively taking him out of the entire season.
A Jones fracture usually makes its mark with pain, swelling, and bruising on the outside of the foot, and makes walking difficult and painful.
“Jones fractures can be tough to heal,” says Dr. Bob Baravarian, Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, “and there are two keys when treating a professional athlete in such a case. First is to fix the fracture with a screw to increase the stability and get early motion back. Secondly, see if there is an abnormal position of the foot that caused the fracture, such as a high arch. Abnormal positioning is very often treated with a custom orthotic and in rare cases with surgical realignment.”
If you think you may have a Jones fracture, elevate, ice, and compress the foot with an Ace bandage. Visit a foot and ankle specialist immediately for an examination. Sometimes, an initial X-ray will miss a Jones fracture, so the doctor may order additional imaging.
If you would like more information on Jones fractures or to make an appointment with one our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists, please call (877) 989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitue.com.
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