Broken bones are perhaps one of the most obvious medical situations to identify. However, sometimes breaks are not so noticeable and their symptoms can build in severity slowly over time, such as in the case of a stress fracture. Learn more about stress fractures and how to identify them with Dr. Jeffrey Belancio at South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists in Vineland, NJ.
What is a stress fracture?
A stress fracture can be severe bruising within the bone or a small crack in the bone. These types of injuries often come from repetitive motions or overuse, making them common in runners and athletes. Thanks to their location, the feet bear the brunt of your body’s weight, especially while running, jumping or even simply walking, making them highly susceptible to stress fractures. Stress fractures can occur due to plain overuse, but often occur when athletes make changes to their routine, for example, when they begin running on an outdoor sidewalk instead of their usual treadmill at the gym.
Do I have a stress fracture?
Just like an acute fracture, the main symptom of a stress fracture is pain. However, you may exhibit some other, more specific symptoms, including:
- pain that goes away or decreases with rest
- swelling on the top of the foot
- swelling on the outside of the ankle
- pain that increases while walking or using the foot
- tenderness to the touch
If you think you have a stress fracture, you should consult with your foot doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you and your feet.
Stress Fracture Treatments in Vineland, NJ
Stress fracture treatment often begins with the RICE method, which includes (R) resting the foot, (I) icing the foot, (C) compressing the foot, and (E) elevating the foot. You may also need to keep all the weight off of your foot by walking with crutches. Your doctor may recommend a cast or special footwear to protect the foot while it heals. Some cases will require surgery to correct the problem.
For more information on stress fractures or their treatments, please contact Dr. Belancio at South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists in Vineland, NJ. Call (856) 839-0579 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Belancio today!