Warning Signs You Have a Stress Fracture

Warning Signs You Have a Stress Fracture

Your feet take on a lot of stress daily, sometimes leading to issues like sprains or fractures. If you're active or have certain foot conditions, you're more prone to problems like stress fractures in your feet.

When you're experiencing pain or other symptoms in your feet, Dr. Jeffrey McAlister and his team at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute can help. Dr.McAlister is a foot and ankle specialist who offers several treatments for stress fractures in your feet.

What is a stress fracture?

Various types of fractures affect the bones in your body, including stress fractures. A stress fracture happens when your bone sustains tiny cracks in it.

Stress fractures are most common in your feet and lower legs because of the weight they endure regularly. These fractures are often caused by repetitive use of a particular bone and from high-impact activities like distance running.

You can also develop stress fractures from weakened bones. If you have osteoporosis, you're at a much higher risk of developing a stress fracture in your feet and other areas.

Stress fractures often develop over time and get worse with repetitive stress on the bone. They're not always as apparent as more severe fractures where your bone breaks in half.

Causes of stress fractures

The most common causes of a stress fracture in your foot are rapidly increasing physical activity or excessive time on your feet.

However, several other factors contribute to your risk of a stress fracture, and they include the following:

All of these issues increase your risk of developing a stress fracture. You must increase your activities gradually to avoid this issue. You should also invest in the proper footwear to protect your feet from injury.

Understanding the warning signs

You need to understand the signs and symptoms if you're at risk for a stress fracture. Knowing what to look out for increases the chances that you'll realize you have a stress fracture early on, which cuts down on complications.

Several signs and symptoms are prevalent with stress fractures in your foot, including:

Pain that's better with rest

When you have a stress fracture in your foot, the pain often subsides soon after you're off your feet. You may still have some mild discomfort, but it's better when you take the weight off.

Swelling or bruising

The tiny cracks in your bone lead to an inflammatory response from your body. The inflammation often causes swelling in your foot. Bruising is another sign of stress fracture, although it might not be immediately apparent.

Pain that worsens with activities

The pain of a stress fracture is often much worse when you're on your feet. You may have sharp or shooting pain in the affected foot until you rest.

Tenderness at the site

Some stress fractures are tender to the touch, especially in your feet. If you notice swelling or bruising and pain with palpitation of the area, you could be suffering from a stress fracture.

What treatments are available?

Dr. McAlister evaluates your symptoms to determine the extent of your fracture. He also orders an X-ray or MRI to look more closely at the structures in your foot. In many cases, conservative measures are enough to control the stress fracture. These treatments include the following:

Dr. McAlister may recommend surgery in severe cases of stress fractures. He discusses your surgical options if other, nonsurgical treatments haven't successfully eliminated your symptoms.

If you're worried about a stress fracture in your foot, call our team at 602-761-7819 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McAlister, or book an appointment on the website.

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