What is a stress fracture?
A stress fracture occurs when a small crack develops in the cortex of the bone. Over time, if left untreated the crack will expand until the fracture line extends through the whole bone. Most stress fractures occur in the weight-bearing bones of the foot such as the metatarsals, most commonly the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals. Stress fractures can also occur in the heel, the navicular of the fibula.
• High impact activities like distance running or basketball.
• Improper shoes or hard surfaces
• Bone Insufficiency
- Vitamin D deficiency
• Pain that develops gradually, increases with weight-bearing and diminishes with rest
• Pain that becomes more severe and occurs during normal, daily activities
• Swelling on top of the foot or the outside of the ankle.
• Tenderness to touch at the site of the fracture
• Possible bruising
Rest, use of a custom splint or post op shoe or immobilization via a below the knee pre-fabricated cast such as an AirCast or a fiberglass cast applied by a podiatrist. The site of the stress fracture and degree of pain will determine the treatment. If there is a deficiency in bone density that will need to be addressed as well.
Call Central Carolina Foot and Ankle Associates at (919) 477-9333 for an appointment or click the link below.