Tuesday, 22 August 2023 00:00

Symptoms of Foot Stress Fractures

A stress fracture of the foot is a hairline crack in the bone that begins with minor pain and weakness. This type of injury is common among runners because of the force endured on the metatarsals. Eventually, the discomfort may deepen, spreading to the leg or hip, and become nagging and bothersome. Foot stress fractures can be difficult to diagnose because they can mimic a mild sprain. However, if untreated and regular activities like walking or running continue, the pain can intensify and inhibit normal movement. Unlike complete bone breaks, stress fractures often allow for continued activity. Swelling is not a reliable indicator either, as it's usually minimal or absent. Stress fractures aren't usually accompanied by the bruising or discoloration seen in direct impact injuries. Stress fractures come in different degrees, often related to the affected body part. For instance, heel stress fractures are relatively common and typically heal well. If you suspect a stress fracture, it's suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to prevent further complications and promote optimal healing.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from ABC Podiatry. 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 our office located in Columbus, OH . 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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