Stress Fractures

Stress Fractures

What are stress fractures?

What are the symptoms of a foot stress fracture?

A stress fracture may not cause obvious swelling. But symptoms can occur a bit differently in each person. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the front of the
    foot, often after long or intense bouts of exercise

  • Pain that goes away during
    rest , then returns when exercise is continued

  • Pain that occurs and increases during normal daily
    activities

  • Swelling at the top of the foot or the outside of the ankle

  • Tenderness when the fracture area is touched

  • Bruises at the site of the fracture

The symptoms of stress fractures
can be like other health conditions. Always see your healthcare provider for a
diagnosis.

How is a stress fracture diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a stress fracture
usually is confirmed with a complete health history and a physical exam. X-rays often
cannot see stress fractures because they are so fine. So a bone scan or a magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be done. Once a callus forms around the fracture, an
X-ray can confirm a stress fracture.

Treatment for a stress fracture

Treatment is aimed at relieving pain and giving the fracture time to heal, usually around 6 to 8 weeks. Specific treatment for a stress fracture will depend on:

  • Your age, overall health, and health history

  • How serious your injury is

  • How well you are able to handle certain medicines, procedures, and therapies

  • How long your injury is expected to last

  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • Resting

  • Protecting the fracture site
    with reduced weight bearing

  • Using cold packs

  • Taking medicine such as
    ibuprofen

  • Wearing shock-absorbing shoes
    during exercise

  • Running on soft surfaces, such as grass

  • Doing physical therapy

  • Switching to a less stressful activity, such as swimming or biking

  • Wearing a brace, boot, or
    cast