Stress fractures are small cracks or deep bone contusions that usually develop after a sudden increase in your activity or intensity level. They can also develop from everyday activities because the feet take on all the weight of your body with every step and jump. Because of this, stress fractures are very common in the long bones of the feet. Many people will describe a pain to the top of the foot that slowly gets worse and is most painful with activity. There is usually swelling associated to that area of the foot as well. An x-ray is the first diagnostic tool we use to help determine if you have a stress fracture. Sometimes stress fractures are not initially visible on x-rays because the crack in the bone is so small. Usually after 2-3 weeks, we can start to see signs of the bone healing itself on an x-ray to confirm your diagnosis. Some people are more prone to developing stress fractures. Having a structurally abnormal foot type or being overweight will cause unnatural pressure on the bones of your feet. Some metabolic disorders such as osteoporosis can also predispose you to having stress fractures because your bones can become weaker than they should be. Treatment usually consists of immobilizing and protecting the foot in an orthopedic shoe or walking boot. This is to prevent the stress fracture from developing into a complete bone fracture that will take longer to heal. Most people with a stress fracture will fully recover with immobilization but some people may need the use of a bone stimulator or laser therapy to help stimulate the body to heal your fracture quicker. You may also need to be supplemented with vitamins to boost your body’s healing potential.
The doctors at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center have extensive training and experience in the treatment of foot fractures. Call for an appointment today.
Dr. Eric Silvers, DPM
Dr. Dustin Lloyd, DPM
Dr. Christopher Witt, DPM