A stress fracture is a small fracture in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone. The majority of stress fractures are caused by overuse and repeated activity, and are common in runners and professional athletes who participate in running sports, such as soccer and basketball.
Stress fractures generally happen when people change their activities – such as by trying a brand-new exercise, unexpectedly increasing the strength of their workouts, or altering the workout surface (running on a treadmill vs. jogging outdoors). In addition, if osteoporosis or other disease has weakened the bones, simply doing everyday activities might result in a stress fracture.
The weight-bearing bones of the foot and lower leg are specifically susceptible to stress fractures since of the repetitive forces they must take in during activities like walking, running, and jumping.
Avoiding high effect activities for an appropriate period of time is crucial to recuperating from a stress fracture in the foot or ankle. Returning to activity too quickly can not only postpone the healing procedure but likewise increase the risk for a total fracture. Needs to a complete fracture happen, it will take far longer to recover and return to activities.
What Does a Stress Fracture in the Foot Feel Like?
Really, you cannot understand, at least not without professional support. A podiatric doctor will have to analyze you and make a decision after having an x-ray, or perhaps an MRI or C.A.T. scan performed. Any number of issues, such as plantar fasciitis, sprains and stress and many other conditions can cause localized pain that gets worse with time and makes walking painful and even impossible.
Maybe most frustrating to patients and medical professionals alike is that oftentimes, the thin cracks on the bone which cause so much pain, but do not actually produce separation of foot bone itself, will disappoint up on x-ray till the recovery process has actually begun Once the healing process is underway, the new bone material, which has actually been produced to repair the wounded area, is visible on x-ray as a thin white line. The break itself might have been invisible on x-ray when the stress fracture in the foot was most painful. Typically, a doctor will have to count on an M.R.I. or C.A.T. scan, which is a more precise (though more pricey) diagnostic tool, in order to determine that the injury is undoubtedly a fracture.
The most typical symptom of a stress fracture in the foot or ankle is pain. The pain typically develops gradually and gets worse during weight-bearing activity. Other symptoms may consist of:
- Pain that diminishes during rest
- Pain that occurs and intensifies during normal, everyday activities
- Swelling on the top of the foot or on the exterior of the ankle
- Inflammation to touch at the site of the fracture
- Possible bruising
Feeling in Foot During Doctor’s Physical Examination
After discussing your symptoms and health history, your doctor will analyze your foot and ankle. During the assessment, he or she will look for areas of tenderness and use mild pressure straight to the hurt bone. Typically, the key to detecting a stress fracture is the patient’s report of pain in response to this pressure. Pain from a stress fracture is typically limited to the area directly over the hurt bone and is not generalized over the entire foot.
What Does Stress Fracture in the Foot Mean?
Stress fractures happen most often in the 2nd and third metatarsals in the foot, which are thinner (and frequently longer) than the surrounding first metatarsal. This is the area of greatest impact on your foot as you press off when you walk or run.
Stress fractures are also typical in the calcaneus (heel); fibula (the external bone of the lower leg and ankle); talus (a little bone in the ankle joint); and the navicular (a bone on the top of the midfoot).
Numerous stress fractures are overuse injuries. They take place with time when repetitive forces result in tiny damage to the bone. The repetitive force that causes a stress fracture is not excellent enough to cause an acute fracture– such as a broken ankle brought on by a fall. Overuse stress fractures happen when an athletic movement is duplicated so typically, weight-bearing bones and supporting muscles do not have sufficient time to heal between workout sessions.
Bone is in a consistent state of turnover– a process called improvement. New bone establishes and replaces older bone. If a professional athlete’s activity is too great, the breakdown of older bone takes place quickly– it outpaces the body’s ability to repair and change it. As a result, the bone deteriorates and ends up being susceptible to stress fractures.
What Causes Stress Fracture in the Foot
The most typical reason for stress fractures is an abrupt boost in exercise. This increase can be in the frequency of activity – such as exercising more days each week. It can also remain in the period or strength of activity – such as running longer ranges.
Even for the nonathlete, an abrupt boost in activity can cause a stress fracture. For instance, if you walk occasionally on a daily basis however end up walking exceedingly (or on unequal surface areas) while on a holiday, you may experience a stress fracture. A new design of shoes can decrease your foot’s capability to take in repeated forces and result in a stress fracture.
Conditions that decrease bone strength and density, such as osteoporosis, and certain long-term medications can make you most likely to experience a stress fracture-even when you are performing normal daily activities. For example, stress fractures are more typical in the cold weather, when Vitamin D is lower in the body.
Research studies show that female athletes are more vulnerable to stress fractures than male professional athletes. This might be due, in part, to reduced bone density from a condition that doctors call the “female professional athlete triad.” When a lady or girl goes to extremes in dieting or exercise, 3 interrelated diseases might develop: eating conditions, menstrual dysfunction, and premature osteoporosis. As a female athlete’s bone mass reduces, her chances for getting a stress fracture increase.
Doing excessive too soon is a typical reason for stress fracture. This is typically the case with people who are just beginning an exercise program-but it occurs in knowledgeable professional athletes, too. For example, runners who train less over the winter season may be distressed to pick up right where they left off at the end of the previous season. Instead of beginning slowly, they resume performing at their previous mileage. This situation in which athletes not just increase activity levels, however push through any pain and do not offer their bodies the opportunity to recover, can result in stress fractures.
Anything that alters the mechanics of how your foot soaks up impact as it strikes the ground may increase your risk for a stress fracture. For example, if you have a blister, bunion, or tendonitis, it can impact how you put weight on your foot when you walk or run, and may require an area of bone to deal with more weight and pressure than usual.
Modification in Surface
A change in training or playing surface area, such as a tennis player going from a turf court to a hard court, or a runner moving from a treadmill to an outside track, can increase the risk for stress fracture.
Using worn or lightweight shoes that have actually lost their shock-absorbing ability might contribute to stress fractures.
What I Should Do If I Have Stress Fracture in My Foot?
See your doctor as soon as possible if you think that you have a stress fracture in your foot or ankle. Ignoring the pain can have serious repercussions. The bone might break completely.
Till your consultation with the doctor, follow the RICE protocol. RICE represents rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Rest. Avoid activities that put weight on your foot. If you need to bear weight for any factor, make sure you are wearing a really helpful shoe. A thick-soled cork shoe is much better than a thin slipper.
- Ice. Apply ice immediately after the injury to keep the swelling down. Use ice bags for 20 minutes at a time, numerous times a day. Do not use ice straight on your skin.
- Compression. To prevent extra swelling, gently cover the area in a soft bandage.
- Elevation. As frequently as possible, rest with your foot raised up greater than your heart.
In addition, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help eliminate pain and lower swelling.
Strong pain meds might require if pain in your foot too bad.