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Stress Fractures

Stress fractures of the foot are small cracks or fissures in the bones of the foot, commonly occurring due to repetitive stress or overuse. These fractures often develop gradually over time, rather than as a result of a single traumatic event, and are most commonly seen in athletes or individuals who engage in high-impact activities such as running,

jumping, or dancing. Stress fractures typically occur in weight-bearing bones such as the metatarsals, the long bones in the middle of the foot, or the calcaneus, the heel bone. Risk factors for stress fractures of the foot include sudden increases in activity level, improper footwear, biomechanical abnormalities such as high arches or flat feet, and nutritional deficiencies such as low calcium or vitamin D levels.

The symptoms of stress fractures of the foot may vary depending on the location and severity of the fracture but often include localized pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. Individuals with stress fractures may also experience pain that worsens with weight-bearing activities such as walking or running, as well as pain that improves with rest. In some cases, a stress fracture may present as a dull ache or discomfort that persists even during periods of rest. If left untreated, stress fractures of the foot can lead to more severe complications such as complete fractures, chronic pain, or delayed healing. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent further damage to the bone and promote proper healing of the fracture.

Treatment for stress fractures of the foot typically involves rest, immobilization, and activity modification to reduce stress on the affected bone and promote healing. Individuals with stress fractures may be advised to avoid weight-bearing activities and use crutches or a walking boot to offload pressure from the foot. Ice packs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. As the fracture begins to heal, gradual return to activity under the guidance of a healthcare professional may be initiated to prevent re-injury. In severe or non-healing stress fractures, surgical intervention such as internal fixation or bone grafting may be necessary to stabilize the fracture and promote proper healing. With proper management and care, most individuals with stress fractures of the foot can expect full recovery and return to their normal activities within a few weeks to months. For more information click here.

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