A Stress Fracture is an injury to the foot bones that happens over time due to overuse instead of a sudden, sharp blow. It is also sometimes known as a hairline fracture and happens most often in the Metatarsal bones.
What causes a Stress Fracture?
A stress fracture occurs when the foot muscles because exhausted by repeated activity and motion and can no longer absorb the shock and pressure. The bones then take on the repeated pressure and stress which causes hairline fractures to occur over time.
How do I know if I have a Stress Fracture?
What are the symptoms of a Stress Fracture?
- Gradual, growing pain in the foot
- Pain when putting weight on your foot
- Relief of pain when you stop physical activities
How is a Stress Fracture diagnosed?
- Physical examination
- Bone scan
- X-ray (although some fractures are difficult to detect by x-ray alone or may not show up on x-ray for several weeks)
What can I do from home for a Stress Fracture?
What can I do to prevent a Stress Fracture?
- Manage your weight
- Avoid heavy physical activity if you’re not used to it. Start light and work your way up.
- Avoid overdoing it when exercising.
- Strengthening exercises
- Wear shoes with good support when taking part in physical activities like sports or running
What treatments can I do from home for a Stress Fracture?
- Rest - Get off your injured foot as soon as possible. Relieving weight and pressure will help your foot heal faster and avoid further injury.
- Take pain-reducing medication if needed
When should I see a doctor for a Stress Fracture?
You should see a doctor for a Stress Fracture if your pain continues to worsen and you can no longer put weight on your foot.
Treatments your doctor may recommend for a Stress Fracture
- Rest - Get off your injured foot as soon as possible. Relieving weight and pressure will help your foot heal faster and avoid further injury. Avoid weight-bearing or painful physical activity until your Stress Fracture is healed. This may mean using crutches, brace, or cane until then.
- Ice - Rest or wrap your injured foot with ice as soon as possible. Ice helps prevent swelling and promotes faster healing time. Wrap the ice in a towel and avoid putting ice directly on the skin.
- Compress - Immobilize the injured foot with a bandage or ankle brace. This gives your ankle stability and protects it from further injury. Make sure you don’t wrap your foot or ankle too tightly. You don’t want to cut off the blood supply to your foot.
- Physical therapy
- Sometimes a stiff-soled shoe or walking boot may be suggested