(See also Overview of Fractures.)
Pain, swelling, and tenderness are usually well-localized to the fracture site.
Diagnosis of fractures of the 5th metatarsal is based on anteroposterior, lateral, and oblique foot x-rays.
Fractures of the 5th metatarsal diaphysis can be acute fractures or stress fractures. Acute diaphyseal fractures tend to occur near the metaphysis and are sometimes called Jones fractures.
Because the blood supply may be disrupted, nonunion and delayed union can result.
Treatment of 5th metatarsal diaphyseal fractures involves a 3-sided short leg cast with no weight bearing for 6 weeks; patients are referred to an orthopedic surgeon to determine whether open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) should be done.
Fractures of the base are sometimes called dancer's or pseudo-Jones fractures. The mechanism is usually a crush injury or an inversion force that causes avulsion by the peroneus brevis tendon. These fractures are more common than acute diaphyseal fractures (Jones fractures).
Because the base, unlike the diaphysis, has abundant collateral circulation, delayed union and nonunion are rare.