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Diagnosis of Stress Fractures

Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:00

A foot stress fracture is a microscopic crack in the bone, often caused by repetitive stress or overuse. This common injury can affect various bones in the foot, such as the metatarsals, and typically emerges gradually due to activities such as running or jumping. Recognizing the symptoms is vital, as persistent pain, swelling, and tenderness are common indicators. To diagnose a foot stress fracture, podiatrists employ a combination of clinical evaluation and imaging studies. X-rays may not immediately reveal the fracture, but MRI imaging or bone scans may offer more detailed insights. Medical history, physical examination, and a thorough discussion of the individual's activities contribute to an accurate diagnosis. Early detection is essential for effective management, often involving rest, modified activity, and sometimes bracing or casting. If you have foot pain, and believe it may be a stress fracture, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and treat this condition.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. 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 one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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