Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

A stress fracture can occur not only in the foot and ankle doctor podiatrist in Hixson but in other areas as well. The injury usually occurs as a result of overuse and results in a small fracture in the bone, which places significant stress on the area.

Many patients report increased activity, such as playing sports, that provokes symptoms associated with a stress fracture. These activities can be either light, such as walking, or intense, such as running or lifting weights.

An area, such as the foot or ankle, may be subjected to excessive stress, resulting in a fracture in the bone. The foot and ankle are some of the most common places in the body where stress fractures occur.

Causes of stress fractures

Although the most common causes of stress fractures of the foot and ankle doctor podiatrist in Hixson are related to increased physical activity, there are other important causes. These causes may include osteoporosis, a disease that causes bone weakness due to decalcification. A person with osteoporosis is very prone to bone fractures, even if he or she does only a little physical activity.

Athletes who participate in high-impact sports with repetitive motion can also get a stress fracture because a body part is constantly under stress.

Long-distance runners, basketball players, gymnasts, and soccer players are some of the most common athletes to suffer stress fractures of the foot or ankle.

How can you tell if you have a stress fracture?

Pain is the most common symptom. If you have recently increased your activity and are experiencing pain in your foot and ankle doctor podiatrist in Hixson as a result, you may have a stress fracture. The pain usually gets worse with activity but may improve after you rest.

You may also experience isolated pain in the area of the fracture. You will notice that pressure on the affected area causes severe pain.

It is important to stop the activity that is causing the pain immediately. If symptoms persist for several days, even at rest, be sure to see your podiatrist for a thorough examination and diagnosis.

An x-ray will usually reveal a fracture. In some cases, an MRI or bone scan may be ordered to learn more about the fracture and the depth of the problem. The MRI often shows more detail than the X-ray; however, the X-ray is a good way to make an initial diagnosis. Sometimes the x-ray is negative, and the fracture is only visible on the MRI.

Treatment is usually nonsurgical and may consist of a splint, rest, ice, or bone growth stimulator to heal the fracture.

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