University Foot and Ankle Institute is an internationally-recognized leading organization for the treatment of foot and ankle problems. Our team of foot and ankle specialists comprehensively treat all foot and ankle problems from simple achilles tendonitis, bunions, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, neuroma pain, ankle sprains and fractures to the most complex reconstructive surgery and limb salvage of the foot and ankle.
A stress fracture is usually an overuse type of injury that produces a small crack in the bone. It is due to either normal amounts of stress to a weakened bone, or abnormal amounts of stress to a normal bone. Often patients will report having increased their activities of having just began an increase in walking or exercise. This can put excess stress on a region of the foot or ankle resulting in a small crack or stress fracture.
Patients will often report that the pain is usually worsened with increased or repetitive activities. There is usually localized swelling in the area of the fracture that gets worse with activity. There may be slight burning from the swelling. Point tenderness to pressure in the area of stress fracture is often noted.
Stress fractures are usually not seen on initial x-rays but may show up over several weeks with an increased amount of bone formation as the bone heals. sometimes an MRI or a bone scan may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Stress Fracture of the 2nd Metatarsal with new bone healing (yellow arrow left) In certain cases, an MRI is used to diagnose a fracture (yellow arrow right)
Foot stress fractures and ankle stress fractures are treated with non-weight bearing to the affected area, and may require crutches and a cast or cast boot until the bone heals. Often, a bone stimulator which is a non-painful machine that speeds up healing is used to help with healing. After the bone is healed, an orthotic or custom insole may be used to decrease the pressure on the fracture region and allow uniform pressure distribution across the foot and ankle.
Our Podiatrists, surgeons and physical therapists are the very best. Request an appointment with a doctor at our Los Angeles or other Southern California offices.