Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not the end of the World for NFL Draft Prospect Julio Jones

With not much good news coming from the NFL these days, draft prospect Julio Jones made headlines with his impressive showing at the 2011 Scouting Combine. With his performance, he may very well be the first wide receiver picked in this years draft. He ran under 4.40 in the 40 and did all this with a fracture in his foot. This fracture was picked up on x-rays during the medical examination at the Scouting Combine. Julio was diagnosed with what is called a Jones fracture while performing at the combine.
A Jones fracture is a injury towards the base of the 5th metatarsal, which is the long bone behind the 5th toe. This injury can occur as a result of a twisting injury or an ankle sprain. In fact, this type of fracture can often be missed during initial examination for an ankle sprain. Due to the location of this fracture, (see figure below), there is limited blood supply to the bone in this area making this a difficult fracture to heal. Often conservative measures, such as a cast, walking boot or crutches are not enough to heal this fracture alone.

As in Julio Jones' case or any athlete that cannot have afford the luxury of a lengthy recovery, this type of fracture often needs surgery to assure healing of this injured site. A titanium or stainless steel screw is often placed across the fracture site to help speed up the healing process. Often times, a bone stimulator would also be used as an adjunct to treatment. A bone stimulator uses ultrasound or electrical waves to increase healing across bone fractures. Even with these techniques it will take 4-6 weeks to heal. The good news is with proper care these go on to heal without future consequences. The key to these injuries is early intervention. When you suspect this type of injury or sustain a severe ankle sprain, it is important to get examined by your podiatrist as soon as possible. Early intervention is essential. For Julio Jones, having immediate treatment will result in his remaining a first round pick in the 2011 draft.

Sandie Grulke, DPM


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