A stress fracture is also known as a hairline fracture, which means that the fractures are small and thin and often difficult to detect and trace. They often occur from repetitive stress to the foot and ankle that happens in sports, work, and exercise. A hairline fracture can mimic or co-occur with other conditions like a sprained ankle or arthritis, so be sure to have an evaluation done by your foot doctor to trace and treat the actual cause of your pain and discomfort.
Treatment of a stress fracture in your foot or ankle may consist of the following:
- Immobilization of the injury— You can adequately treat a toe stress fracture by buddy taping to the toe next door. Your podiatrist will prescribe a rigid, immobilizing walking boot for more extensive and more complicated injuries. You may have to wear the boot for weeks or months to free the pressure on the broken bone while it heals.
- Physical therapy—It’s essential to do low-stress physical therapy exercises to strengthen the injured area without causing it to break again. Your foot doctor can help design a regimen that is right for your injury.
- Gradual return to previous activities—After the boot comes off and you have done a prescribed regimen of physical therapy, you can slowly start to do sporting, work, and exercise activities, being careful not to cause a reinjury.
- Surgical repair—For stress fractures that can’t be adequately held together with the more conservative therapies, surgery involving pins or other hardware may be necessary.
If you are concerned about a possible stress fracture in your foot or ankle, see your foot doctor to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.