Tuesday, 24 October 2023 00:00

Foot and Ankle Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny, gradual bone cracks caused by overuse or repetitive activities, common in athletes. Unlike sudden regular fractures, they develop over time, often affecting the feet and lower limbs. Risk factors include excessive stress, hard surfaces, and rapid changes in exercise intensity. Other causes are weak muscles, joint issues, osteoporosis, medications, poor footwear, and vitamin deficiencies. Symptoms include localized pain, swelling, tenderness, and discomfort during high-impact activities. Diagnosis involves a physical assessment, potentially followed by an X-ray or MRI. Treatment includes rest, compression, training modification, and low-impact activities. Supportive footwear, custom foot orthotics, anti-inflammatories, and exercises can also help. Surgery may be needed in severe cases. Ignoring stress fractures can lead to complete fractures, non-healing, bone necrosis, and surgery. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose the issue and provide treatment options.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Nola Sole Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts


Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

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