Often seen in runners and athletes, stress fractures (aka hairline fractures) are created when repetitive pressure and stress occurs during recreational and competitive sports that involve a high degree of running, jumping, and fast stops and starts, like tennis, football, and basketball.
Another major source of stress fractures occurs when a sedentary individual decides to suddenly start exercising without slowly introducing the body to the stress of the new activity. Bones, tendons, and ligaments are not used to the new source of pressure and are more susceptible to problems. In most cases, a hairline fracture will develop gradually and usually affect the major weight-bearing bones including the lower leg bone, the metatarsal bones of the toes, and other bones of the foot and ankle.
Treatment for stress fractures includes the following:
The best method for healing a stress fracture is to allow the injury to completely heal before adding any more pressure. A specially constructed boot or a cast may be required during the initial healing phase and it may take from four to ten weeks before it can be removed.
After the primary healing stage has been completed, it is very important that you gradually start activities such as exercising, running or playing sports since trying too hard, too fast, could result in a new injury.
Severe stress fractures may require surgery involving the use of pins or other hardware. A prolonged recovery period and extensive physical therapy and strengthening exercises will need to be performed for six months or more.
If you have a stress fracture in your foot, seeing your podiatrist is the best way to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York, where board-certified foot doctors Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Payel Ghosh, and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.