Q. I am a 24 year old female with a Jones fracture. What will happen if it is left untreated?

Answered by
Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxena
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 21, 2015 and last reviewed on: Jan 07, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am a 24 year old female with a Jones fracture. I broke it for the first time last year and again this year. At this stage, it is showing a nonunion, but I can easily bear weight and there is no pain or swelling. I have no plans to play sports or go running in the future. I was wondering if I can live without getting pinned. As of now, I cannot take leave from work. Also, what will happen if a nonunion is is left untreated?



Welcome to

I have gone through your question, and it seems that your fracture is not healing well. There are a few points which I want you to know:

The first and the fifth metatarsal are actually the weight-bearing bones in the foot. So, proper union of any fracture involving these two bones is important. Jones fracture involves the fifth metatarsal of the foot and that too in an area with a slightly peculiar blood supply. So, if not managed well, can lead to nonunion.

You are very young, and at this stage, it is not advisable to leave any fracture unsupervised in terms of treatment. If your concerned orthopedic doctor is telling to get it pinned or open reduction and internal fixation with a screw, then it makes quite a lot of sense to actually undergo that treatment. I can actually advise you in a better manner if I can see your fresh x-ray and also your clinical picture showing the involved foot.

Also, you have not mentioned the total duration since the second injury, and what form of management is being done right now. If it goes into permanent nonunion, you will keep on having foot problems from time to time in the form of pain, swelling, and difficulty in ambulation.

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