Foot Stress Fracture Treatment, Foot Stress Bone Fracture Symptoms, Healing Time, Surgery and Recovery
Helpful Information About Foot Stress Fracture
Fractures are classified into different types due to the fact that they can occur in different bones in the body. This classification will help identify one fracture from the other. There are comminuted fractures wherein the patient has more than three fragments in the fracture. A twisted foot can result to a dancers fracture. Brawling can up the risk to have a boxers fracture, even when you hit something hard with an open palm. Children with some undeveloped bones can have epiphyseal plate fractures. There are many other types of bone fractures that can be identified, especially when the body has 206 bones that can be broken upon strong impact. However, overuse of a certain bone in the body can also result to bone fracture. One such case would be that of foot stress fracture. Unlike some other types of fractures, this one only has a small crack instead of being an all-out break in the bone. Stress fracture in the foot is mostly caused by overuse, such as in the case of an athlete who needs to practice for long hours on their feet. As they say, practice makes perfect but they just left out the part that it can also cause foot pain top of foot, or on the side of the affected foot. You might want to ask “do I have a stress fracture in my foot?” to your doctor if the pain is consistently felt.
Stress fracture foot usually happens on the bones in the lower leg and the foot, particularly those bones that carry the weight of the entire body. Athletes who are involved in sports like gymnastics, track and field, tennis, basketball, and even dance are prone to this kind of stress bone fracture. This is one definite classification that can be attributed to stress fracture. Devoted athletes are its usual victims. Fracture injury is something that is bound to happen when the bones are abused for long hours. As long as the foot keeps on carrying the weight of the person and touching the ground on impact, it would not be long before foot stress fractures would occur.
What is a Stress Fracture in the Foot?
Unlike most other types of bone fractures, stress fracture is caused by overused bones and not accidents. As the muscles in the foot keep hitting the ground, they would eventually lose their shock resistance. Instead, the muscles would distribute the stress that they have long been feeling to the bones. As a result, the bones will get stressed and this will show in the small cracks in the bone. This is when foot fracture stress would occur.
The second and third metatarsal bones of the foot are usually the ones that get easily stressed after being overused and hence experience stress fracture of foot. The cracks can also happen on the fibula or the lower leg bone, calcaneus or the heel, and the navicular bone which is found on top of the midfoot.
Causes of Stress Fractures on the Foot
Repeated activities that have the foot hitting something hard again and again would result to stress fractures on the metatarsal bones. These activities have increased elements of frequency, intensity, and duration. The more often a person does an activity again and again with higher intensity the more risk there is to have stress fractures foot. This also goes the same for those who do some activities relying on the foot for long hours and for intense levels. These people are more prone to stress fracture injury.
However, foot fracture stress also happens to people who are less into physical activities. This is when they have a disease like osteoporosis that suck out the density and minerals from the bone. When the bones are weak, even slight movements that are done daily would cause them to crack eventually. These small cracks are enough to cause foot stress fractures
Another cause of broken foot bones is lack of conditioning. Being too eager to exercise or do something physical would cause stress fracture. This might start as stress fracture heel but as the activities are done without any proper conditioning, the cracks might also happen on the other bones in the foot. Some athletes would immediately think about doing their exercise at the same rate that they were used to doing before winter or before they stopped their activities. However, it is best to use the bones in the foot slowly at first until they are used to the activity. Sudden activities for the bones in the foot would likely result to fractured foot. People who are still new to doing some exercise routines should also start slow. This will help the bones get used to the impact and pressure of exercising.
While exercising, proper equipment should be used. The routine should also be done in an exercise-supportive place. For instance, comfortable shoes that fit well should be worn. This is an effective preventive measure for side foot pain to happen, an offshoot for having a fracture.
There are certain techniques in doing exercise routines and other physical activities that would make a person in which the feet should be correctly used when walking, running, jumping or doing many other activities. But when there are some hindrances to how the previously mentioned activities are executed such as a bunion, blister, or tendonitis, there is more risk of having stress fracture of the foot.
Weak bones due to a disease like osteoporosis also increase the risk of the bones to having cracks. Fractured metatarsal bones that cause a person pain are already signs of a stress fracture.
Stress Fracture in Foot Symptoms
There are a couple of stress fracture symptoms, such as:
- Foot pain side of foot, or wherever the fractured area happens to be, that intensifies the longer the foot is used
- Possible black and blue color on the fractured area
- Swelling on the foot
- Severe pain with increased number of activities that require high impact on the foot
When any of these symptoms of stress fracture in foot become severe, especially the pain and the bruising, the best thing to do would be to call a doctor or the emergency department of a nearby hospital.
On your first consultation, the doctor will pry about your work, usual activities, and the drugs that you are on. These are the things that will guide the doctor about the possible reasons of your stress fracture. After this discussion, other diagnostic tests will be done. These tests would consist of x-ray, bone scan, and MRI scan. These are the tests that will help the doctor determine what foot stress fracture treatment would be appropriate for the bones.
Before any treatment for stress fracture in foot can be done by the doctor, first aid can be applied. This would consist of resting the moment pain is felt. An ice pack would also help greatly but the pack should only be placed on the injured area when the foot is raised upwards, above the level of the heart. Pain relievers and other anti-inflammatory medicines would also be necessary. Fracture healing time will not be too long if these things are done. Fracture of metatarsal bones in the foot should be treated well to avoid fracture complications.
Foot Stress Fracture Treatment
There are some nonsurgical treatments that should be followed. Resting is highly recommended. Protective footwear such as a foot stress fracture boot should be worn. The patient has to bear the inconvenience of a stress fracture foot boot to get well quickly. A fracture cast would help the navicular bone or the fifth metatarsal bone on how to heal properly. In some cases, the patient might be asked to wear foot brace for stress fracture. Crutches can be used as the means of moving around while the cast or brace is on. It might take a few weeks to complete the foot stress fracture healing time.
Fracture surgery is another option on how to treat stress fracture. Some surgical procedures are done on hairline fracture foot that needs fastener as support, or what is called as internal fixation. Another option would be to use screws, pins, and plates to keep the fragments together for a good healing process. This way, recovery time would be quick. Rehabilitation would be something that can be immediately seen in the horizon. During rehab, there are cases when emedicine still needs to be taken by the patient. Surgery is another way to treat stress fracture but only your doctor can tell if you will need it. One way to avoid all these necessary ways on how to treat stress fracture quick would be to maintain a healthy diet that will keep the bones strong. Moreover, the bones should not be abused.