A Biomechanical Comparison of Fifth Metatarsal Jones Fracture Fixation Methods

Oct. 7, 2020

Fifth metatarsal base fractures of the metaphyseal-diaphyseal watershed junction, known as Jones fractures, are commonly treated surgically in athletes. While intramedullary screw fixation is the most used surgical treatment, plantar-lateral plating is an alternative. This study compared the mechanical strength of these two modes of repair. Results showed that plating allowed for more cycles before failure, greater peak load before failure, and lower gap width, when applied to simulated Jones fractures in male cadaveric foot specimens that were exposed to cantilever bending in a load frame. Early return to play among athletes is associated with increased risk of failure. This study introduces a plantar-lateral plating construct that performed more favorably than intramedullary screw fixation.