Stress fractures account for up to 20% of sports injuries today. Because the bones in your ankles and feet bear all your weight, these fractures often happen in the lower body. At Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic in Normal and Pontiac, Illinois, everything you need for foot and ankle fracture care is available on site. Expert podiatrists Craig Cortese, DPM, FACFAS, Steve Yeschek, DPM, and Carl Cortese, BS, DPM, FACFAS, skillfully assess your fracture and then prescribe effective treatments to get you back on your feet without pain. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online.
A fracture is a break in a bone. Most fractures affecting the feet are stress fractures — small breaks or cracks typically caused by overuse and repeated impact.
The most common sites for foot stress fractures are the second and third metatarsal bones, two of the long bones on top of your foot. They can also happen in your heel, fibula, and the navicular bone in your midfoot.
Foot and ankle stress fractures usually happen when you work your muscles too hard or too long. This leaves them working at less-than-peak efficiency. When your muscles can't effectively absorb shock from frequent impacts, that force is transferred to your bones causing fractures to develop.
Many athletes, including runners, dancers, gymnasts, and basketball players, develop stress fractures. If you change any aspect of your regular workout routine, whether it’s the frequency, length, or exertion level, it can cause a stress fracture.
Non-athletes can develop stress fractures called insufficiency fractures. The most common reason for this type of fracture is weakened bones caused by osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency.
The wrong type of footwear, whether it’s ill-fitting, worn, or too-rigid, can put you at risk for a stress fracture. Surface changes, like running on an indoor wood track and then switching to an outdoor dirt track, can also put you at risk.
Stress fracture symptoms can include:
At Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic, your podiatrist will review your symptoms, lifestyle, medical history, and current medication list before performing a careful exam.
If your podiatrist suspects a stress fracture, they may order tests like bone scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm the diagnosis.
Rest is essential if you have a stress fracture. Use ice packs and elevate your foot until you see the doctor. Your podiatrist may recommend continuing this protocol at home, with the addition of protective foot gear such as a fracture boot.
For a serious stress fracture, your podiatrist may numb the area and reduce the fracture, which means realigning displaced bones. Usually, fractures heal effectively, but in rare cases, you may need surgery for complex fractures.
Click the online scheduler or call Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic for fracture care today.