Stress Fractures in Sports
Quick Facts about Stress Fractures in Sports:
- What is it and what causes it?
- Stress fractures are a tiny crack in the bone caused by repetitive overuse
- Often result of increasing activity amount or intensity too rapidly
- Over half of stress fractures occur in the lower leg and foot
- How is it diagnosed?
- Patients usually complain of pain with activity
- Typically diagnosed by an orthopedic surgeon with knowledge of sports medicine
- X-Rays can be helpful, but can’t always detect a stress fracture, MRIs may be necessary
- What are the treatment options?
- Rest from activity that causes pain
- Gradual re-introduction of impact exercises after 4-6 weeks
- Non-impact exercise (swimming, elliptical, etc)
- Crutches or walking boots can be used for severe pain
- Gradually increase your activity levels (set increments)
- Try to pre-condition at least one month before sports season begins
- Make sure you have the proper footwear
- Rest for a few days if pain or swelling occurs