How Do Stress Fractures Affect the Feet?

Tuesday, 17 August 2021 00:00

A stress fracture is a small hairline fracture that is a result from overuse. The feet are particularly susceptible to developing stress fractures and there are a variety of different types. One of the most common foot stress fractures is a navicular stress fracture. This occurs on the top of the midfoot and is common in sprinters and jumpers. Another type of stress fracture is a metatarsal stress fracture which occurs along one of the metatarsal bones. A metatarsal stress fracture can develop from overuse or poor foot biomechanics and the pain is usually felt towards the middle, or front of the foot and worsens with weight bearing activities. A calcaneal fracture occurs in the heel bone and is common among soldiers who march frequently, as well as runners who choose to do their running on the road. Another common stress fracture that may occur in the feet is a Jones fracture which occurs in the 5th metatarsal and causes pain on the outside of the foot. If you are experiencing pain in the foot, it may be the result of one of these stress fractures. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and plan for treatment.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Alexander Terris from Total Foot Care. 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.

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 Wilmington, DE . 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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