What is the most effective management of acute fractures of the base of the fifth metatarsal?
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For acute Jones' fractures in recreationally active patients, early intramedullary screw fixation results in lower failure rates and shorter times to both clinical union and return to sports than non-weightbearing short leg casting (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, based on 2 randomized controlled trials (RCT)]. Non- weightbearing short leg casting achieves union in 56% to 100% of patients but can require prolonged casting (SOR: B, based on 2 prospective cohorts and multiple retrospective, follow-up studies). Stress fractures were not included in this review. For avulsion fractures of the fifth metatarsal tuberosity, a soft Jones' dressing allows earlier return to pre-injury levels of activity than rigid short leg casting (SOR: B, based on a lower-quality RCT).
Journal of Family Practice, 55(8) 2006: 713+.