Stress fracture of the foot, shin, or lower leg are very common and most people don’t know they have one! Stress fractures are also known as ‘hairline fractures’.

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According to the National Institutes of Health, NIH; 20% of Sports Medicine treated injuries are the result of stress-related injury

Stress injuries are commonly seen in running and jumping sports and the lower extremity, namely the foot, ankle, tibia (or shin bone) are most commonly involved. Although much less common, upper extremity and rib injuries do occur.

Image result for stress fracture free images. Image depicts the lower leg, ankle, hind foot and metatarsals involved in a Stress Fracture of the Lower Leg.
Anatomic diagram of the bones of the Lower Leg, Ankle, Hindfoot and Metatarsals involved in Stress Fractures.

Stress Fracture Symptoms

The term “Stress Fracture” is a common term to describe a fracture which is symptomatic but does not show up on x-ray. Symptoms include pain and swelling. A stress fracture may occur as the result of an injury or, in the case of osteoporosis (Brittle Bones) may occur spontaneously.

Image result for stress fracture free images. Diagram anatomically identifying the bones involved in a Stress Fracture of the leg, knee, ankle and foot.
The bones involved in a Stress Fracture of the Lower Leg.

Hidden Fractures

Stress fractures may take up to two weeks or 14 days to show up on an x-ray. In my practice I use in-office diagnostics to view these fractures before they become visible on x-ray. Why is it important to have an injury diagnosed early rather than late? Several reasons: First, to identify the cause of pain and relieve the pain as much as possible. Second, to immobilize the fracture to improve healing but more importantly to prevent further damage to the bone! Third, early, proper diagnosis leads to a more timely, faster healing and reduces the severity of post-traumatic arthritis.

Why do Stress Fractures occur?

In a recent study of adolescent athletes, researchers Drs. Nussbaum, Bjornaraa and Gatt found that the athletes who suffered stress fractures competed in more seasons during the year, participated less in weight training had a history of “Shin Splints” and consumed less dairy.

Who is at Risk for Stress Fracture?

In a different study, researcher Dr. Kathrine H. Rizzone looked at College Student Athletes and found that women experienced more frequent stress fractures than men, more so in the preseason and predominantly in the foot and lower leg.

Some fractures take longer to heal, Stress Fracture Treatment

I have successfully treated hard-to-heal fractures as in patients with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Patients with chronic medical conditions may experience a longer recovery than those with no chronic conditions.

Why suffer? I have the knowledge and experience to treat your injury. Call for your appointment today!

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