Tuesday, 30 April 2024 00:00

Stress Fractures of the Foot and Lower Leg

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bones of the foot or lower leg, typically resulting from overuse or repetitive force. Athletes or those engaging in high-impact sports like running, basketball, or dance are more likely to get stress fractures. These injuries can also occur in people who suddenly increase their physical activity without proper conditioning, or those with poor nutrition or weakened bones. One of the main symptoms of a stress fracture is a sharp pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest. The affected area is often sensitive to the touch and may show signs of swelling. The pain is typically localized, making it feel worse during movements that put stress on the specific bone. Preventing stress fractures involves gradually increasing activity levels, wearing appropriate footwear, and incorporating strength training to enhance bone density. If a stress fracture is suspected, a podiatrist can confirm the diagnosis with imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans. The doctor may recommend rest, possibly immobilization, and a gradual return to activity to ensure proper healing and prevent further injury. If you suspect a stress fracture, it is suggested that you promptly schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from ABC Podiatry. 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 office located in Columbus, OH . 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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