The long metatarsal bones of the foot connect the ankle to the toes. Excessive running, jumping, dancing, or other repetitive activities can cause hairline fractures in these bones, causing a condition known as a stress fracture. This is different from an acute break, caused by a fall or other sudden or traumatic injury. Stress fractures can also be the result of osteoporosis, or thinning of bones, arthritis, or nerve damage due to diabetes. Some ways to ease the pain include resting the foot, keeping it elevated, using a walker or crutches, and taking over-the-counter pain medication. You can return to normal activities when pain is no longer present. However, stress fractures can last from four to six weeks. If pain worsens or persists, please consult a podiatrist for further treatment.
Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact David Jenson, DPM, FAENS from Jenson Foot and Ankle Specialist. Our doctor 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.
- 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 The Woodlands, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle