Stress fractures of the foot and ankle are small cracks in the bone, or severe bruises within a bone, caused by repetitive activities, overuse, and frequent actions that place a lot of stress on the foot and ankle. This type of injury is most common in runners, soccer players, basketball players, and other athletes who participate in sports that involve a lot of running.
Stress fractures also occur among people who switch, and suddenly increase the intensity of their usual workout. These fractures can also happen upon a change in workout terrain, such as going from jogging on a treadmill to jogging outside. Lastly, if a person has weaker bones due to osteoporosis or other disease, everyday activities can also cause this uncomfortable injury.
Placing high stress on the feet and ankles can fatigue the muscles, making them less capable of absorbing the shocks caused by workout impacts. The shocks can, subsequently, be transferred to the bone, and a stress fracture can occur. After the injury, a person can experience pain, swelling, tenderness, redness, bruising, and similar symptoms.
The treatment for stress fractures includes the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation, as well as taping of the foot and ankle, protective footwear, custom orthotics, or crutches. A person that has experienced stress fractures should refrain from high impact workout activities for a certain period of time, until full healing. Returning to a workout with a stress fracture still in place can increase the risk for a complete fracture.
In certain more complicated stress fractures, surgery may be required.
If you need to have your ankle or foot checked by an experienced and skilled podiatric doctor, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Benjamin Tehrani, a top LA podiatrist.