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Stress Fracture Foot Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

By on June 21, 2013

A stress fracture foot is a common occurrence in many people. You may have this condition without knowledge. This medical condition affects patients in form of one or multiple cracks. Usually, the word “stress fracture” is commonly used in the medical field.

Despite the usage of either stress fracture foot, the general term, stress fracture, is used in the medical field to imply an incomplete fracture. Furthermore, this type of fracture is different from other types of structures since it is repeated or multiple.

Causes of this fracture include sustained loading of the ankle or leg. This indicates the fracture’s occurrence in the bones that bear the weight.

What People is a Stress Fracture Foot

The descriptive language used for fractures varies but it bears insignificant differences. Some places may use the term silver or crack in the bone.

Typically, the fracture affects the bones of the lower leg like the tibia, and bones of the foot (metatarsals). Despite the language or name used to describe this fracture, the common characteristic remains to be the effect on the weight bearing bones of the body.

Most patients would never discover in advance that they have a stress fracture foot. Mild pains in the lower leg may characterize early signs. However, only keen patients can tell that this type of fracture causes the pains.

stress fracture footUsually, the patients experience the pains only when the lower bones (weight-bearing bones) are subjected to heavy loads or exercise. It is important for patients to note that these pains usually subside during rest.

On the contrary, the presence of the crack in the bone does not disappear with time but may worsen later. If the pain increases with time in the areas of the body mentioned early, that is an indicator of a crack(s) in the bones.

When the crack develops, the pain ceases to subside with rest. Remember, small fractures may not cause pain at all. However, the fracture has potential to develop to a stage of painfulness.

Challenges to Diagnosis of the Stress Fracture foot

Diagnosis of these types of fractures is a bottleneck. These fractures challenge the right resolution of X-Ray technology.

More often than not, radiologists will explain that the hairline nature of the fractures lacks diagnosis accuracy from the X-Ray photographs.

As a reader, you may have realized the importance of the pains in the lower leg. Check up is imperative to arrest the development of the fracture.

Curious patients would disagree with the assertion that X-Ray photographs are not the only medical solution to the diagnosis of the fractures. This is affirmative. However, the cost alternative is not patient-friendly.

These alternative test is limited to a class of patients especially athletes. At this point, the fact is clear that patients with a stress fracture foot may not get the required diagnosis to tame the problem. This implies that even experienced doctors are only limited to making relatively accurate diagnosis based on the pain. As a result, pinpointing the location of the stress fracture foot is a difficult process.stress fracture

Stress Fracture Foot Risk Factors and Their Sources

We may also be interested to run a cross section of factors that lead to the acquisition of these fractures. Precisely, risk factors play an important role during distinguishing likelihoods of stress fracture foot prevalence in given groups of people.

This approach is pivotal to the determination of preventive measures that people can apply to avoid stress fracture foot. Research shows that fracture occurrence is prevalent in the female gender because of a number of reasons.

These reasons are, however, not the causes but they only serve to bolster the occurrence of the fracture. Doctors often cite irregular periods, bone disease (osteoporosis), malnutrition, and other factors that are related to eating disorders as discernible factors that lead to occurrences.

Malnutrition cases have their origins from deficiency of important vitamins. Vitamin D plays an important role alongside calcium in the formation of strong bones. This implies that a diet that is deficient in calcium and/or vitamin D exposes the body to poor bone development.

If the intake of these two is low, then women have a risk of acquiring stress fractures. Today, most women control weight through cutting on food intake. This habits lead to low intake of calcium resulting to poor bone formation.

What Lifestyles Do to the Fractures

Risk factors cite the importance of certain requirements that reduce stress fractures. Despite the fact that women have a higher risk of fractures, we should remember this cannot be generalized to all women. Stress fracture foot injuries are related to the activity lifestyles that patients live.

Therefore, athletes are likely to cause strain to the weight-bearing bones more than individuals who do not exercise a lot. Furthermore, there is a clear-cut line dividing athletes at a higher or lower risk of developing fractures.

Research shows that beginners to active lifestyles have less conditioned bodies that are likely to develop stress fractures. If the exercises are repeated, they result straining of the body leading to muscular failure in weight-bearing areas of the body.

Knowledge of bone types that are more likely to develop to stress fracture foot is pivotal to diagnosis too. These injuries target the ankle, second and third metatarsals, and heels. This indicates stress-bearing bones.

If you feel pain all or one of these body parts, you are likely to have the injury. Although, accurate determination of the pain-source is a challenge, especially to patients, advanced diagnosis approaches will certify your suspicions.

Notice the presence pains in the mentioned regions and take early precaution to avoid development of the fracture-which is usually a painful and irritating stage.

Treatment of Stress Fracture Foot

Remedies to treating the fracture depend on some factors such as the stage of the fracture, risk factors like osteoporosis, and diagnostic results. However, most doctors will recommend taking a break from strenuous activities.

On rare occasions, doctors to correct the fractures use surgery. Furthermore, you must note that the time taken by a patient to recover from stress fracture injuries is also subjective.

First, it depends on the type treatment and fracture location.

Second, provisions of casts like crutches foot splinters can accelerate the healing process.

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