A stress fracture of the foot is one of the most common complaints encountered by Podiatrists.
This type of fracture is simply a "hairline" fracture of one of the bones in the body. As the name suggests, this type of injury is usually the result of repeated stress to an area and is also therefore termed an overuse injury.
Foot fractures are commonly seen in athletes or sports people but can also occur as a result of normal walking, running and general exercise.
Some studies have suggested stress fractures in the foot may be an early sign of osteoporosis so be sure to seek medical attention if you think you have a stress fracture.
Common stress fracture types seen by Podiatrists include:
These are by no means the only stress fractures seen, however these are just some of the more common encounters.
A few simple rules need to be followed when managing stress fractures of the foot.
Rest is crucial. You should see your Podiatrist as soon as possible to confirm the diagnosis. This is usually done using special radiographic procedures such as a bone scan or CT scan. Stress fractures rarely show up on regular x-ray films.
Various forms of weight relief padding and shoe modifications can be carried out immediately to promote healing of a foot stress fracture.
In some cases crutches or even a below knee cast may be needed for a period of six to eight weeks.
Following initial weight relief and healing, a thorough biomechanical analysis should be carried out to determine the need for orthoses or orthotic appliances. These can help in the prevention of re-injury to areas subjected to high levels of stress.
WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.
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