Date of Award

7-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Bioengineering

Advisor

Laberge, Martine

Committee Member

Benson , Lisa

Committee Member

Bowman , Larry

Abstract

The fifth metatarsal 'Jones Fracture' is a fracture that occurs 3.5cm distal to the tuberosity. It is an injury that is common in athletes, especially those who participate in sports with a lot of lateral movement. The Jones Fracture is known for its difficulty to heal due to non-union and re-fracture. There has been much research recently regarding in-shoe pressure distributions and their relation to shoe type, movement, and shoe surface interaction. However, only the forces along the bottom of the foot have been investigated. Literature and the direction of fracture seem to implicate a force on the lateral portion of the foot is the cause of the fracture though the exact causal forces are still largely unknown.
Until now technology has limited researchers in the investigation of the forces distributed along the lateral portion of the foot. SensorTech is a moldable ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene sensor that is capable of reading those forces. Its wireless application will also allow for forces to be read while an athlete performs a series of maneuvers without being encumbered. In order to best utilize this new technology the variables applicable to the jones fracture needed to be determined. To accomplish this, a survey was sent to the head athletic trainers of all of the Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision's Universities. The survey addressed shoe types worn, number of fractures incurred, what movement was being performed, surface being played on, how it was treated, and what the return to play time was.
The information gleaned from the survey was used to design a study in which athletes will be run through a series of maneuvers and while the forces along the fifth metatarsal are recorded. The survey revealed that Division 1 Bowl Subdivision athletes are significantly more likely to receive a fracture. Lateral cuts were also found to cause significantly more fractures than any other movement. Possible contributors were found to be Nike cleats (in one of the two years) and artificial turf. Those factors are all addressed in the study design in order to provide definitive results of how each factor affects the forces. This information could lead to the development of a method of Jones Fracture prevention.

Share

COinS