When you hear of a fracture, you may think of a bone that is completely broken into pieces as a result of a traumatic incident. But there is another category of fractures that can be a bit more sneaky. A stress fracture is a hairline crack that develops in a bone, many times in the bones of the feet. Stress fractures in the feet are generally caused by repetitive actions, most often seen athletes who engage in sudden movements during sporting activities.
You don’t have to be an athlete to develop a stress fracture, though. If your bones are weakened, or you start an intense activity too quickly, then you may be at higher risk for developing a stress fracture.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a foot stress fracture include discomfort that lessens during rest, pain that occurs during normal activities, inflammation on top of the foot, sensitivity or bruising. Like any type of foot fracture, proper care and treatment are required to avoid long-term instability.
Treatment for this condition includes:
- Wearing the right type of shoes can be very helpful in absorbing shock and reducing the chances of developing a stress fracture.
- Getting plenty of rest by avoiding activities that place high amounts of stress on your feet.
- Applying ice to the area several times a day to reduce swelling and pain.
- Using compression and bandaging to prevent inflammation.
- Keeping your foot elevated.
- Wearing a cast to keep your foot’s bones in a secured position and to eliminate the tension on your foot.
- Surgery may be required for severe cases to treat your injured foot. The procedure may include inserting devices to hold small bones in place.
Stress fractures require careful monitoring and care from a foot care specialist in order to ensure proper healing. Here at Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, our expert podiatrist, Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, can treat your stress fracture and a variety of other foot and ankle issues with expertise. Contact us today at (773) 561-8100 for an appointment at our office in Chicago, Illinois. Check out our Patient Education Library for additional helpful information that can allow you to gain a greater understanding of common foot complications.