As long International soccer superstar Neymar da Silva Santos, who plays for Paris-Saint Germaine, just sustained a 5th metatarsal fracture. This injury will keep him out for at least the next 6 weeks. The injury occurred in a 3-0 win against Marseille. Neymar left the field on a stretcher. Both his own soccer team and the Brazilian national team’s medical staffs examined him. They both determined that Neymar will need surgery in Brazil. He will miss a significant amount of play because of the injury. Based on the description of the injury, it sounds like Neymar may have experienced a Jones fracture. This is a fracture of the fifth metatarsal, which is the bone along the outside of the foot. The fractures can be very painful, and take quite a bit of time to heal.
Fifth metatarsal fractures are common sports-related injuries . They are different than many other types of fractures because of the poor healing of the 5th metatarsal near the base of the bone. In Neymar’s case, the fracture occurred when he rolled his ankle; which is a very common way that these fractures occur. Because of the decreased blood flow to the area, these fractures often take twice as long as a typical fracture to heal. For a competitive elite athlete, this can mean missing entire season of play. This is not something that a professional athlete wants to hear!
Surgery may not be necessary to treat a Jones fracture. A patient may be able to avoid surgery if their fracture fragments are well-aligned. Still, there is an increased risk of the bone refracturing down the line with non-surgical care. In very active people, and certainly in high-level athletes like Neymar, surgery is almost always recommended to treat a Jones fracture. Surgery for a Jones fracture usually allows for faster return to activity. It may also allow one to bear weight sooner. Furthermore, surgery may lower refracture rates. Nonsurgical treatment of Jones fractures often involves significant periods of non-weight-bearing. This could mean up to 8-12 weeks in a hard cast. But, occasionally they can take even longer to heal. In the case that you need to stay off the injured foot, a roll-a-bout or knee scooter may help.
Surgery for a Jones fracture usually involves placing a pin or screw down the 5th metatarsal bone. This will stabilize the bone and help provide compression across the fracture. The surgery usually involves a faster return to activity, not only because of the compression across the fracture, but also because the strength of the screw itself provides stability to the injured bone. The screw also provides added strength for a lower refracture rate later on after the surgery. Physicians are oftentimes able to performed this surgery percutaneously. This means through the skin, and does not require a significant incision. A plate could also be used for fractures that are in multiple pieces to provide even more stability to the broken bone. Plates usually would stay in long-term. However, in some cases, if they are causing discomfort they may need to be removed at a later time.
If you or someone you know has an injured or painful foot, or rolled your ankle, or suspect a Jones fracture, call Kansas City Foot and Ankle today at 816-943-1111 to schedule an appointment with our expert team of doctors. We are available to get your feet back to their best. We also have multiple, convenient locations to help address your needs. Call today!