FAI November 2020: Rate of Delayed Union With Early Weightbearing Following Intramedullary Screw Fixation of Jones Fractures

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Jones fractures of the proximal fifth metatarsal are predisposed to delayed union and nonunion due to a tenuous blood supply. Solid intramedullary (IM) screw fixation is recommended to improve healing, traditionally followed by delayed weightbearing (DWB). However, early weightbearing (EWB) postoperatively may facilitate functional recovery. The purpose of this study was to compare union rates and time to union after solid IM screw fixation of Jones fractures in patients treated with an EWB protocol to those treated with a DWB protocol, as well as to identify any factors that may be predictive of delayed or nonunion.

In conclusion, postoperative protocols using early weightbearing following solid IM screw fixation of Jones fractures appear to be safe and do not delay fracture healing or increase the risk of delayed union. Older age may be a risk for delayed union, but larger studies are needed to evaluate this with appropriate power in light of possible confounders. EWB protocols may allow better functional recovery without compromising outcomes by increasing the risk of delayed union.

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