PHONE: 248-922-6000

FAX: 248-922-5997

 
Town Center Foot & Ankle

6510 Town Center Dr. Suite C Clarkston, MI 48346

            Map

By nick
March 14, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

As track season is just beginning, I figured now would be the perfect time to write a blog about "stress fractures". Many athletes are now going through grueling workouts and conditioning - and with that comes the increased chances for a stress fracture. Often times this is a result of overuse and overwork. Equipped with some more information will help individuals become more aware of a potential problem and some preventative measures to take to avoid such a problem.

STRESS FRACTURE

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Stress fractures are an injury to bone caused by unaccustomed stress from running, marching, or walking.  They are often seen in military recruits or athletes as they increase their training.  They may also be seen in people with hormonal imbalances or prior surgery that has altered the way their foot or ankle functions.

HOW DOES IT FEEL?
Stress fractures may feel like an ache in the foot or ankle or may feel like a sharp pain when a lot of stress is placed on the foot, or you are doing heavy physical activity.  You will also notice swelling around the site of the pain, but usually no bruising is present.

LET’S DO A TEST!
Your podiatrist will take an x-ray to determine if there is a break or crack in the bone.  After several weeks a large calcium deposit or bone callus may be seen around the stress fracture.  Your podiatrist may place a tuning fork on the area where he or she thinks a stress fracture may be located.  This will result in pain being noted at a very distinct location.  Finally, if doubt still exists about the diagnosis, a bone scan may be obtained, which shows increased bone production if a stress fracture is present.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
Bone is a living, breathing tissue that also has large amounts of minerals that provide strength.  When increased stress is applied (sudden increase in exercise time or intensity) the bone responds by becoming stronger and denser where the extra stress is applied.  If there is not enough time for that adaptation to occur, small micro cracks develop.  In severe cases, these small cracks can result in a complete displaced fracture if treatment is not initiated.

WHAT WILL MY DOCTOR DO FOR IT?
After making the diagnosis of stress fracture, your doctor will tell you to decrease activity levels.  You may be instructed to wear a stiff soled shoe, to reduce bending motions of your foot when you walk.  Depending on the location and severity, your doctor may recommend a case and crutches.  As the pain becomes less intense, you may gradually resume your activity level.

CAN I PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN?
Never increase exercise levels too quickly’ no more than ten percent increase per week.  Always wear good supportive shoes that will absorb and cushion all the stress caused by your activity.  If your stress fracture was the result of a medical condition, closely follow your doctor’s instructions to prevent a recurrence.

 

Comments: