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Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

A stress fracture is a small crack, or substantial bruising within a bone. The majority of stress fractures are caused by repetitive and overworking activities such as running. They can also occur from a change in activity, like a new workout that is higher in intensity than one is used to. The bones in the foot and ankle that bear the most weight are the most vulnerable to stress fractures. In the foot, stress fractures will most often occur in the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals. This is a frequent location for a stress fracture, because it is the area of greatest impact on the foot when a person pushes off to walk or run. In the ankle, it is most often found in the fibula, which is the outer bone on the lower part of the leg. Some common symptoms of a stress fracture are bruising, swelling, pain during normal activities and tenderness at the spot of fracture. It is vital to visit your podiatrist as soon as possible if you think that you may have a stress fracture. Ignoring the pain will lead to more dire issues such as a complete break of the bone.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Florida Foot & Ankle Group, P.A.. Our doctors 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 Apopka, Debary, Lake Mary, and Orlando, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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