A stress fracture can occur in the ankle or foot, as well as a multitude of other places. Usually caused by overuse, the injury causes a small crack in the bone that places a significant amount of stress on the area over time.
Many patients report an increase in activities, such as exercise, that triggered the symptoms associated with a stress fracture. These activities can be as gentle as walking or as intense as running or lifting weights.
Excessive stress can be placed on the region, such as the foot or ankle, resulting in a crack in the bone. The foot and ankle are among the most common places in the body where these fractures appear foot and ankle specialist hixson tn.
Causes of stress fractures
Although the most common causes of these ankle and foot fractures are due to increased physical activity, other causes are important. These causes can include osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes weak bones from decalcification. A person with osteoporosis can become very susceptible to breaking a bone with even a small amount of activity.
Athletes who perform high-impact, repetitive-motion sports can also suffer a stress fracture due to continuous stress on the body part over time.
Long-distance runners, basketball players, gymnasts, and soccer players are among the most common athletes to develop these foot or ankle fractures.
How to determine if you have a stress fracture?
Pain is the most common symptom seen. If you’ve recently increased your activities and are experiencing pain in your ankle or foot as a result, you may have developed a stress fracture. The pain usually worsens as activity begins, but may improve with rest.
Isolated pain can also occur in the specific area of the fracture. You may notice that if you press on the affected area, significant pain occurs.
It is important to immediately stop activities that cause you pain. If symptoms continue for several days, even after rest, it is important to see your podiatrist for a full examination and diagnosis.
An X-ray will reveal the fracture most of the time. In some cases, an MRI or bone scan may be ordered to provide more information about the fracture and the depth of the problem. Often times, an MRI will reveal more detail than an X-ray; however, X-rays are an excellent way to provide an initial diagnosis. Sometimes the X-ray is negative and the fracture is only seen on MRI.