Tuesday, 08 August 2023 00:00

Understanding,Stress Fractures of the Foot

A foot stress fracture is a hairline crack in a bone caused by repetitive stress or overuse. This common injury primarily affects the weight-bearing bones of the foot, such as the metatarsals. Athletes, runners, and those who engage in high-impact activities are particularly susceptible. Common symptoms of a stress fracture of the foot can include a gradual onset of pain that worsens during activities and eases with rest. Swelling surrounding the affected area often accompanies a stress fracture, it may be tender when touched. Some people that develop stress fractures may notice bruising near the fracture site, and it can be difficult to walk. The pain often subsides with rest but can return when activities resume. Early diagnosis is crucial in preventing further damage. Treatment typically involves rest, immobilization with a cast or brace, and modified activity. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist if you have developed a stress fracture.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from New England Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chelmsford and Newburyport, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

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