Definition: a fracture of a bone caused by repeated mechanical stress


What is a stress fracture?

Stress fractures are small, hairline cracks that could occur in any bone of the foot due to repeated stress. X-rays and other studies can be used to diagnose the stress fracture.

Causes of stress fractures

Common causes of stress fractures include: over-training or overuse, improper training surfaces (gravel or concrete), ill-fitting footwear, flat feet or other foot deformities.

Symptoms of a stress fracture

Symptoms of a stress fracture could include: pain, swelling, redness and bruising.

How do you treat a stress fracture?

A foot specialist or doctor should be seen as early as possible to receive treatment to shorten the recovery time and reduce risk of creating more damage. Without adequate treatment, stress fractures can progress to a fracture in which surgery may be required.

Treatments for stress fractures in the foot usually include rest and immobilization of the foot using methods such as:

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  • Cast or removable air-cast
  • Crutches or even wheelchair
  • Custom-made orthotics
  • Orthopedic footwear