Background: Elite American football athletes are at high risk for Jones fractures. Fixation is recommended to minimize nonunion and allow early return to play. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the prevalence of Jones fracture repair in athletes invited to the National Football League (NFL) Combine and the impact of fracture repair on short-term NFL participation compared to athletes with no history of repair. Methods: A total of 1311 athletes participating in the Combine from 2012 to 2015 were evaluated. Athletes with history of Jones fracture repair were identified. Athlete demographic information was collected while physical examination findings were recorded. Radiographs were evaluated to determine fixation type and the presence of nonunion. Future participation in the NFL was evaluated based on draft status, games played, and games started in the athlete’s first season following the Combine. Results: Fixation was performed for 41 Jones fractures in 40 athletes (3.1%). The highest prevalence was in defensive linemen (n = 10 athletes), with the greatest rate in tight ends (5.1%, n = 4 of 79 athletes). Intramedullary screw fixation was used for all fractures. Incomplete bony union was present in 3 (8%) fractures. Athletes with a history of repair were not at significant risk for going undrafted (P =.61), playing (P =.23), or starting (P =.76) fewer NFL games compared to athletes with no history of repair during athletes’ first NFL season. Conclusion: Athletes with a history of Jones fracture repair were not at significant risk of going undrafted or for diminished participation during their first season in the NFL. Level of Evidence: Level IV, case series.
- Jones fracture