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Stress Fractures in the Feet

Dancers and basketball players, as well as runners, may be familiar with stress fractures in the feet. This overuse injury, which consists of hairline fractures of the bones in the foot, often results from repetitive pounding on hard surfaces. A sudden increase in activity, such as playing longer and more often, or adding excess mileage to a run, can result in developing stress fractures. These tiny cracks are easy to dismiss at first because the pain often diminishes with rest. They also are difficult to detect with a foot X-ray, and often may only be noticed through digital imaging tests. Certain types of footwear, exercise equipment and surfaces, as well as insufficient rest periods are other major contributors to foot stress fractures. Finally, osteoporosis, arthritis, and neuropathy can be factors. A podiatrist can offer a clear diagnosis of stress fractures, and depending on the severity can offer the appropriate treatment options. For more information, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact our podiatrist from Dr. Powers Foot and Ankle. 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 Bloomington, Bedford, and Washington, IN . 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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