Maybe you’re training for a marathon, or perhaps your job requires you to be on your feet all day, or you may have tripped over the curb. Whatever the case, you now have a nagging pain that you expect to go away any time now.
At Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle, our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Dustin Kruse, Dr. Brett Sachs, and Dr. Matthew Paden, see patients every year who have been waiting for a pain to resolve on its own.
All too often, those patients have a stress fracture and need treatment. In order to help you avoid this situation, we wrote this post describing the signs of stress fracture you shouldn’t ignore.
A small crack in your bone
You may have heard of a hairline fracture. It’s a very small crack in one of your bones. It’s sometimes called a stress fracture because the most common cause is overuse or repetitive stress.
Stress fractures are most common in people who are active, such as athletes, or people who have very active jobs. They usually occur in the weight-bearing bones in your lower legs, ankles or feet. Some of the bones at risk for stress fracture include:
- Second and third metatarsals (toes)
- Calcaneus (heel)
- Fibula (shinbone)
- Talus (in your ankle)
- Navicular (a bone on top of your foot)
Some of the signs you may have a stress fracture include:
- Pain during activity that goes away when you rest
- Tenderness in the area
When you feel pain, your body is sending you a message that something is wrong. It’s not a good idea to ignore such messages, because if you do, whatever is wrong may well become worse.
Consider what happens when you ignore a crack in your windshield and continue driving, bouncing over rough roads. Eventually the crack spreads and may even shatter the windshield. A stress fracture isn’t much different.
Get medical care
Don’t ignore that nagging pain. We can evaluate your issue and help you understand why you’re experiencing pain. You’ll most likely need advanced imaging so we can see what’s happening to the structure of your ankle or foot.
Usually the treatment for a stress fracture is immobilization so your bone can heal and the damage doesn’t get worse. You may need medications for pain or inflammation.
The sooner you get care and treatment for a stress fracture, the less likely it will become worse.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms we’ve listed here, schedule an appointment at the most convenient office of Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center today. We have five Colorado locations: Wheat Ridge, Evergreen, Arvada, Granby, and Thornton.