A ‘stress fracture’ is a micro fracture or small crack in a bone due to repetitive loading, often by overuse. The applied load is less than that required for a single fracture. They are most common in weight bearing bones of the foot and leg and resulting from impact forces, or the action of muscles pulling across the bone.
Patients with a stress fracture may experience localized pain and tenderness over the fracture site that generally improves with rest. Swelling may also be a feature of a stress fracture and pain at night is a common compliant. The most common bones affected are the tibia, metatarsals, fibula and navicular.
Stress fractures are cause by force place on a bone overtime that are greater than the bone can bear. Most commonly this is a result of overuse in athletes, but may also be due to environmental factors such as the use of high heeled shoes. Conditions that weaken bones including osteoporosis will also be considered by your podiatrist.
The majority of stress fractures heal within six week. Treatment generally requires the avoidance of weight bearing activity. CAM walker boots are often used to immobilize and offload the bone. These allow the patient to continue to weight bear. Crutches may be prescribed early on in your recovery
CAM walker boots are available on site at Up and Running Podiatry.