At Gentle Professional Foot Care we find that most patients are familiar with general fractures. A broken foot or ankle is usually result of an injury or accident and leads a patient to seek immediate medical attention. There is a second kind of fracture known as a stress fracture which people are less acquainted with. Below are some facts about stress fractures and how to recognize and prevent them:
FACT: A stress fracture is a crack in the surface of a bone. It does not go all the way through the bone. A common site for these types of breaks is the forefoot—the bones that extend from the middle of your foot to your toes.
FACT: Stress fractures are usually caused by overuse. This means repetitive action that puts stress on a particular part of your foot—such as running, or jumping or even standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces.
FACT: Another factor that can raise your risk for stress fracture is a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is what allows your body to utilize the calcium that is necessary for strong bones. The bones in your feet support the weight of your entire body, so lack of vitamin D can have a big impact on them. People who are low in vitamin D often have one or more of the following: limited sun exposure, are over the age of 50, have a darker complexion, are overweight or have a medical condition that inhibits fat absorption.
FACT: Symptoms of a stress fracture may come and go and include:
- Bruising at the site
FACT: Our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, will examine your foot if you have these symptoms and will ask questions about your activities and any recent injuries. X-rays may be ordered (which can be done right in our Venice office) and other imaging tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis of a stress fracture.
FACT: A stress fracture can usually be treated with rest and immobilization. It normally takes four to six weeks to fully heal if treated promptly. If you suspect that you may have a stress fracture, contact us sooner rather than later by calling: 941-493-7999.