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Jones Fracture Average healing times

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by Unregistered, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Rob711

    Rob711 Guest


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    I read so many gloom and doom stories I figured when mine was a little more known if it was good I'd write it here to encourage people. Truth is, most people will get through this in a few months. A few sucky months, but a few months. And there are things you can do to make it go better.

    I was walking in a park on June 17 and turned my ankle in a hole in what will go down as my stupidest one second ever. Could tell right away something was wrong more than a sprain. Hobbled back home, a few hours later it had become really swollen and painful. I went to work the next morning, putting on a slipper (it was my right foot) to drive. About mid morning I decided to go to the doctor. X Rays showed a non displaced Jones fracture. They made me an appointment with an orthopedic doctor, put me in a CAM walker boot and sent me on my way. I didn't know to stay off of it so after the pain went away (only a few days) and it was just achy I went down to one crutch and around the house no crutches. That was a mistake but it worked out in the end. Have to be non weight bearing or it will never heal, I slowed mine and made it a bit worse by putting weight on it.

    The first week and a half I drove by changing out of the boot into a slipper and putting the boot back on at my destination. I had some of my most fun days that week hanging out with friends, going to ball games, socializing, etc. Life was inconvenient but not terrible. Then I had my ortho appointment and he told me it really was pretty serious and I needed to wear that boot all the time and put ZERO weight on the foot. If you keep using the foot a muscle and tendon on either side of the break will constantly pull it apart and make it difficult to mend. So I started treating the boot like a cast that day. He made a six week follow up appointment and sent me on my way. At this point I still tried to drive in the boot but it was just too dangerous. I have a stick shift and can't brake with the left foot so I had to start getting rides.

    The next month was possibly the most depressing month of my adult life. I got obsessed with reading these posts, most of which were awful. Was convinced it was never going to heal and I'd always be on crutches. The doctor didn't like doing surgery and wanted to treat it conservatively and I'm a really, really active guy. Especially in summers. And I had just started dating a really, really active girl who fortunately was out of town for a month so I didn't have to deal with this and her reaction. (btw when I finally did see her again she was incredible about making me realize how little a deal this was in the big picture)

    Fast forward to Aug 8, today. Six week ortho follow up, but 7.5 weeks since the fracture. I could feel a callus forming over the site somewhere in the third week and stopped being as paranoid about rebreaking it while getting around, showering, etc then. The X rays today showed about 80% healing, fracture line almost invisible and filled in everywhere except the outer edge where the biggest part of the gap was originally. Mine was minimally displaced with a notch at the outside of the bone. The notch is still visible as a slightly washed out area that is obviously still not all the way healed but is a little filled in. I have been NWB until today and was given permission to start weaning off of crutches in the boot. I have another appointment in one month at which point I'm expected to be released to regular shoes and life will start being more normal. I figure I'll wait 1-2 months after that to return to things like running and hiking to avoid refracture. It's slow going relearning putting weight on it in the boot and I'm doing it patiently. It's a little sore right now after the first day of moving and using it but I think a lot of that is just the soft tissues being stiff from unuse. The important things I did that helped:

    1. Treat the boot like a cast. No weight on the foot, ever. No cheating. None. This was advice I got from someone who had the same break and it healed well. The non unions and delayed unions are frequently from people who cheat a little here and there. My foot did not touch ground for those six weeks even when it started to feel more solid and I wanted to just try it out. Didn't take the chance until I could see the Xray and know it was healing. According to my doctor he sees lots of people who don't feel any pain and use it and they have issues with slow healing because of it. Also keep it immobilized. All the time. I even wore the boot to bed because I tend to move my feet a lot while I sleep. I finally got to move my ankle for the first time today and it's pretty stiff but keeping that foot still and unloaded was in my opinion the number one thing I did to help the bone start healing.

    2. Shower stool. I was originally showering standing up with just some weight on the heel. There's no way I could have kept doing that for two months without a disaster happening as I put the good foot in the tub from the crutches. Would have slipped. So I got a shower stool from Amazon for thirty dollars. Showering sitting down sucks, but it's the safest way. (I can't wait to shower normally again)

    3. Stopped driving. This was difficult. Talk about loss of independence. I started getting rides back and forth to work and any time I went out it was tagging along with someone else driving. Sucked, but had to do it, there was no way to keep that foot immobilized if I kept taking off the boot to drive. I still have another couple of weeks before the doctor has okayed me to drive. His main concern is rebreaking it if I hit the brakes too fast.

    4. Tried to stay upbeat. This was hard. Anyone reading this understands that. I have a few friends who've been off their feet for months and we agree the emotional part of it is the worst. The break honestly didn't hurt after week 1 but it was just so depressing to see everyone else have fun while I'm worrying about my mobility in the future and so many of these stories are gloom and doom.

    5. Don't worry about future mobility. You'll walk again. I was an avid athlete and I still don't know what this means for weightlifting, hiking, kayaking, etc but if it means I don't get to do that stuff for a long time I'll just deal with it. I will do them again. For me this was put into perspective by having a friend who is recently paralyzed. Every time I started to complain on facebook or something I'd remember she was reading it and would give anything to be walking in a few months so I better shut up and stop whining.

    6. Clean up the diet and lifestyle. I mostly stopped drinking (a weekly beer or two with a friend kept me sane and I kept that), stopped caffeine and almost all sodas, ate vegetables, lots of protein, drank lots of water and milk and started taking a multivitamin and calcium supplements. Protein, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin D are all important for bone healing so I made sure I got plenty. If you smoke, definitely stop because it interferes with healing. And sleep, I slept a lot. Mostly to make the time go by quicker, but the sleep helps with the healing as well.

    7. I don't know if this helped or not but every night as I went to sleep I visualized the bone mending.

    8. Elevate the foot as much as possible. After a long day at work it would get pretty swollen in the boot. So I put it up a lot at night or wiggled the toes or got up and crutched around to get it back under control.

    Think that about covers it. I think I had a pretty average recovery. Went to work the entire time, got a knee rover but found the crutches to be more useful. Could carry things around the floor at work using a rolling chair and my coworkers were pretty good about realizing I was going to need lots of help with lifting. I won't lie, there have been some dark days and I had to deal with a flu like illness the first few weeks that made it even worse. But I'm on the home stretch now and it feels pretty good. I will never take walking for granted again.

    Week 1, initial pain subsided
    Week 3-4, could feel a callus over the fracture site
    Weeks 4-7, no pain, no real changes, no x rays for me to see what was going on and I got pretty stressed but held on.
    Week 7.5, checkup showed good healing and fracture almost filled in, cleared to start weightbearing in the CAM walker to encourage the bone to grow and lose crutches when I'm ready (will probably take me a couple of weeks to do it slowly and safely). Cleared to sleep without the boot and start working on ankle mobility as long as I don't put weight on it without the boot and don't feel pain. This first day I've started putting the foot down as I use both crutches and have put almost full weight on the heel. Serious pins and needles! I'm starting to get range of motion back in the ankle and toes the first day but I'm not rushing it.

    My next appointment will be 12.5 weeks from the break, longer than I thought it would take, but by then I anticipate walking out in regular shoes. My doctor is being extra cautious and I will go along with that. If I'd had my choice I probably would have gotten a screw put in but the first appointment available was at the six week mark so I decided to ride out the conservative treatment. Will take longer but with common sense and a slow return to activity should work fine. I realized after this that I have a serious alignment problem in my gait, I ride on the fifth metatarsal all the time. Going to use this as an opportunity to work on that.

    I'm male, 45, moderately athletic, slightly high blood pressure, non smoker.
     
  2. superstaa89

    superstaa89 New Member

    Hey everyone,

    I know it's been a while since anyone posted in this thread, but I'm starting to get kind of anxious about this fracture.

    I broke my fracture New Year's Eve (happy New Year to me) by stepping on an uneven bit of pavement and rolling my foot out. The next day I went to the ER, and in the doctor's words I "broke that critter." They gave me a shoe cast and crutches and told me to stay off of it. I took a picture of my x-ray and then immediately did what you're not supposed to do- I started googling it. I was referred to an Ortho Doc, and they couldn't get me in for two weeks. So, my uncle, who's an anesthesiologist met with the doctor I was going to see and showed him my x-rays. He said that I was doing exactly what I needed to do, and didn't need to see me for 4 weeks.

    4 weeks rolls around, and I go to the doc to find out that not only is there not much healing showing, but I have the dreaded Jones Fracture. I also find out I'm vitamin D deficient, which is of course, double trouble. The doctor said he didn't see the need to do surgery, but the whole possibility of a non-union is freaking me out. I've got a walking boot now, and I haven't been putting any weight on my foot for the past 4 weeks. I've been taking vitamin D and calcium supplements every day like I'm supposed to, but I'm so scared that at my 9 week check-up on Monday there aren't going to be any signs of healing.

    I've been using my crutches and a knee-scooter, but I'm so beyond ready to be able to walk and drive again.

    Looking at my x-ray from my ER visit, it looks more like an avulsion fracture to me than a Jones, but I'm not a doctor. It's not a complete fracture and not displaced at all.

    I'm a 29 year old female, non-smoker, in decent shape.

    Any advice or anything?
     
  3. Rosegirl

    Rosegirl Guest

     
  4. Rosegirl

    Rosegirl Guest

    Do you have any update on how it all went?
     
  5. superstaa89

    superstaa89 New Member

    Thankfully, everything healed as it was supposed to! I ended up being able to ditch the ortho boot after 3 months on April 1st. I took massive vitamin D and calcium supplements the whole time and followed the doctor's orders about how much weight to put on the foot and when.

    There is hope!
     
  6. sherry

    sherry New Member

    I have come to share a positive story! On Sunday, Aug 11th I rolled my ankle and thought it was a sprain. We wrapped it with an ace bandage and I stayed home from work on Monday. Tuesday worked for half-day and by lunch decided it was time to see a doctor. After my x-ray, I was told it was a non-displaced Jones fracture on my right foot. Sent to an ortho surgeon told him I would not be opting for surgery. The first visit was basic and the 2nd visit we did new x-rays I was told by the doctor the bone was in perfect alignment. He could not see any healing that was 2 weeks ago. Today was my final visit he said the bone is 75% healed. He told me to ditch the boot and start working my ankle to regain strength. So I ditched the boot about 30 minutes ago. Still a little cautious though leaving my foot wrapped in an ace bandage and using the crutches for balance. The doctor was a bit shocked I reminded him though that I had told him I was going to be the poster child for a fast healing fracture on my first visit.

    I wore my boot 24/7 only removing it for a few minutes after showers to re-wrap the ace bandage I had on with the boot. My Doctor advised that I walk with the walking boot he gave me and crutches. Which I did I feel like maybe it helped get some blood flow through that area. I ate a ton of red meat for the first 3 weeks. And took D3 and Calcium supplements every day. I also ate lots of leafy greens some of which I had to choke down but if it helped I was going to eat them. Slept with it elevated every night as well.

    My treat tonight will be sleeping without the 2-ton boot. I know it only weights about 3 lbs but felt like it weighteed tons on my foot. And a hot bath! I realized what I took for granted once I broke my foot. I wish all of you a speedy recovery! looking to be 100% in the next 2 weeks.
     
  7. sherry

    sherry New Member

    The husband said I forgot to add a few things to my positive story. I was also drinking large amounts of high mineral content water. It is called Crazy water and comes from Mineral Wells TX. They have 4 types and I drank Number 4 with the highest amount of minerals in it. I also ate 3 protein bars a day and a banana each day. I am not sure what helped me but whatever I was doing did the trick.
     
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