How Stress Fractures Differ From Regular Fractures

Foot and ankle bones have some elasticity and bend. If there is not enough of this, and one continually performs activities causing repetitive stress like running or jumping, microscopic breaks in the bones can develop. These are known as stress fractures. A crack would not be seen with these types of fractures unless looking under a microscope and then tiny fracturing would be seen. If there is a high amount of stress or a sudden load sustained, a complete fracture would occur. With stress fractures that come on slowly over time, the best treatment is rest. With a complete fracture, the bone must be reset or held together with a cast or surgery. If you think you have a fracture in your foot or ankle, it is suggested you see a podiatrist for an evaluation of its severity and proper treatment options.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot and Ankle Clinics, PA. 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 offices located in Woodbury, West St. Paul, and Edina, MN . 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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