One of the most frequent injuries we see at Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic is a stress fracture. A patient may describe the pain in the foot as throbbing, with some swelling, and aggravated with activities and feels better with rest. But they can not really remember any acccident or trauma to the area, it just sort of "happened" and got worse and worse. Could it be a stress fracture? The answer is yes, it could be a stress fracture.
We describe stress fractures as a precursor to an all out fracture of the bone. We liken it to a crack in the shell of a hard boiled egg; it is not cracked all the way through, but the integrity of the bone is interrupted and thus causes an inflammatory reponse with pain on weightbearing. We will take Xrays in the office to rule out a complete fracture through the whole bone, but we can see an irregularity of one of the sides, or cortex, of the bone. Sometimes, a stress fracture may not present itself for 10-14 days on Xray, when the body starts repairing the bone and it shows on the film. If you are diagnosed with a stress fracture, you will be put in a walking boot and, prescribed icing, and encouraged to decrease activity as much as possible so that the bone can heal. Sometimes a more advanced modality such as an MRI might be needed in order to diagnose a stress fracture.
If you have any foot pain, it is best to have it checked with an appointment with one of the doctors. We will do a full exam complete with Xrays that we will share with you at your visit and come up with a treatment plan. Call our office today!