Repetitive stress causes small breaks in the bone and these are called stress fractures. The bones of the foot or ankle absorb the full impact of each step you take, and this constant abuse can lead to stress fractures.
- Abnormal foot structure
- Bone deformities
- Wearing of incorrect footwear while exercising
Stress fractures are hard to detect and if left untreated can lead to severe foot injuries. Consult a podiatrist to learn more about stress fractures and its causes. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from fractures of the foot and ankle.
Groups at high risk
This injury is common among people whose daily activities include high levels of impact on their feet and ankles such as those who:
- Play tennis or basketball
- Practice gymnastics
- People who had a sedentary lifestyle and suddenly gets active through a high impact and intense workout. They are affected since they do not yet have a strong muscle to handle the intensity and degree of their activity.
- Someone with osteoporosis are at high risk because their bones are weakened by the disease, thus, prone to fractures.
Characteristics of pain in stress fracture
- The pain felt usually occurs at the general area of the fracture.
- It manifests as a “pinpoint pain” or pain felt upon touching the site of the injury and is accompanied by swelling.
- Pain occurs during or after the activity, disappears when resting, and may return when moving or standing.
- Any activity, high-impact or not, will just aggravate the pain.
If you increase your level of activity before a stress fracture is healed properly, it may lead to a full fracture.
Treatment (Check with your podiatrist for treatment)
It varies depending on the individual and the level of injury.
- Resting the hurt foot is the primary way to treat a stress fracture
- Use of crutches
- Physical therapy
- Surgery may be required to have support pins installed around the stress fracture and assist in healing.
Some ways to that may help to prevent foot and ankle fractures
- If you have a new exercise regimen or other kind of high level impact activity, set incremental goals weekly so that you can still build-up your muscle strength. Also wear supportive shoes to protect your feet better.
- Stop exercising and rest if you start to experience any symptoms of the stress fracture. Should the symptoms persist, it is best if you consult a podiatrist and get yourself checked and examined.
- Knowing and remembering these tips will help you prevent stress fractures to your foot and ankle, and will allow you to live normally and continue running without any injury at all.
At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with foot and ankle fractures. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.