Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

Understanding Stress Fractures in the Feet

Stress fractures, or hairline fractures as they are sometimes called, are small cracks that develop in a bone when it is unable to handle the weight placed on it. Because the feet bear the weight of the entire body and are also heavily involved in our mobility, stress fractures frequently occur in the foot bones. Stress fractures are often caused by overuse or doing repetitive activities that place stress on the foot, such as running or dancing. Symptoms of a stress fracture include tenderness, deep and dull pain, weakness, swelling, and bruising. Without treatment, stress fractures can worsen over time. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a stress fracture, it is recommended that you seek treatment from a chiropodist. 

A stress fracture often requires medical attention as it can progress and worsen over time. Please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

A stress fracture refers to a fine crack in a bone. This type of fracture is especially common in the feet, as they often endure repetitive pressure from daily activities such as walking or running. Stress fractures occur when the affected bone can not support the load being placed on it. Stress fractures in the foot can occur in any bone, but often affect the metatarsal bones which connect the toes to the rest of the foot, the heel bone, or the navicular bone on the top of the foot. 


Symptoms of a stress fracture may include: 

  • Deep, dull pain

  • Sharp, localized pain

  • Intermittent pain

  • Tenderness 

  • Weakness

  • Swelling

  • Bruising 

  • Changes in the biomechanics of the foot


Stress fractures in the foot are diagnosed via medical history and a physical exam. You may also need to have diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, bone scans, or an ultrasound performed to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out any other problems.  


Nonsurgical treatment options include resting, icing, compressing and elevating the affected foot, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, modifying your footwear, wearing a cast, and using crutches. Certain types of foot fractures, such as navicular fractures, respond poorly to nonsurgical treatment and may need surgery to fully heal. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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