Tuesday, 26 September 2023 00:00

Causes and Treatment of Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures in the feet are a common injury among athletes and individuals engaged in high impact activities. These hairline fractures result from repetitive stress and overuse, typically occurring in weight-bearing bones like the metatarsals. One primary cause is a sudden increase in physical activity. This can include increasing training intensity or mileage too quickly. Insufficient rest between workouts can also contribute to the development of stress fractures. Biomechanical factors consisting of poor foot arch support or gait abnormalities, can place excessive stress on specific bones, further increasing the risk. Treatment for stress fractures primarily involves rest, which allows the bone to heal. Immobilization with a cast or walking boot may be necessary, and in some cases, weight-bearing restrictions may apply. Pain management, correcting running form, or using orthotics, may be essential for a full recovery. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are important in preventing further damage and complications. If you have endured a foot stress fracture, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a chiropodist who can diagnose and offer you correct treatment options. 

A stress fracture often requires medical attention as it can progress and worsen over time. Please consult with Emily Yu, B.Sc from Uptown Foot Care Clinic. Our specialist will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

A stress fracture refers to a fine crack in a bone. This type of fracture is especially common in the feet, as they often endure repetitive pressure from daily activities such as walking or running. Stress fractures occur when the affected bone can not support the load being placed on it. Stress fractures in the foot can occur in any bone, but often affect the metatarsal bones which connect the toes to the rest of the foot, the heel bone, or the navicular bone on the top of the foot. 


Symptoms of a stress fracture may include: 

  • Deep, dull pain

  • Sharp, localized pain

  • Intermittent pain

  • Tenderness 

  • Weakness

  • Swelling

  • Bruising 

  • Changes in the biomechanics of the foot


Stress fractures in the foot are diagnosed via medical history and a physical exam. You may also need to have diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, bone scans, or an ultrasound performed to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out any other problems.  


Nonsurgical treatment options include resting, icing, compressing and elevating the affected foot, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, modifying your footwear, wearing a cast, and using crutches. Certain types of foot fractures, such as navicular fractures, respond poorly to nonsurgical treatment and may need surgery to fully heal. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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