Stress Fractures

A stress fracture takes place when a certain area of bone is subject to excessive and repetitive force. When you walk, run or jump continually, you put your bones at greater risk for little cracks or microfractures, which normally heal on their own. But if the excessive force becomes too great for your foot, a stress fracture will occur because your body’s ability to heal isn’t able to keep up.
A stress fracture happens based on where your foot is absorbing the repetitive force. And every foot withstands force differently depending on your foot shape, alignment, stiffness of the foot, and the manner and style in which you walk.

Diagnosing a Stress Fracture
Stress fractures can be difficult to detect because they often don’t show up on an x-ray. You and your doctor will need to discuss the level of pain you’re feeling, where it hurts, your history and nature of physical activity, and any condition you have that may lend itself to a stress fracture like osteoporosis. In addition, your doctor may use an MRI, nuclear bone scan, or other sophisticated imaging technique to diagnose you.

Treating a Stress Fracture
The most common ways to treat a stress fracture include:

  • Taking pressure off the injured area by using crutches or wearing a walker boot. To adequately heal, the stress fracture should be treated this way for at least 8 weeks.
  • Abstaining from activities that can worsen the injury.
  • In some instances when the stress fracture is considered high risk, surgery may be required to aid in healing. An orthopedic surgeon with experience in treating this type of injury can determine if surgery is necessary.

For more information about diagnosing and treating a stress fracture, or to schedule an appointment, contact us or call 310.651.2366.

Posted in: Fractures, Uncategorized

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