Stress Fractures

Stress Fractures are small, hairline cracks that can develop in many different bones of the Foot, Ankle & Lower Limb. In the Foot, Stress Fractures are most common in the metatarsal bones (forefoot), but can also effect the bones of the mid-foot and hind-foot. In active and sporting populations they often affect the lower and upper leg. Tibial (Shin) Stress Fractures are not uncommon in runners, athletes and military personnel. 

Stress Fractures typically present with pain that starts and gets worse with physical activity and will often continue aching or throbbing during rest. There can be swelling present around the affected area, and it is almost always very tender to touch. Pain at night and pain while resting can often present with Stress Fractures.

Stress Fractures can occur for a number of reasons including:

    • Overtraining or sudden increase in load

    • Bone Insufficiency (Osteoporosis)

    • Trauma

Commonly stress fractures occur in the limb in the lower parts of the tibia, the fibula and the second metatarsal neck. Less commonly stress fractures can occur below the knee in the tibia along what is known as the tibial plateau, in the joints of the midfoot and also in the fourth metatarsal. It is quite possible that stress fractures can occur in any bone, but the above are the most common areas affected.

Stress Fractures can often require diagnostic imaging to provide a clear diagnosis. Interestingly, Stress Fractures will often only show when they begin healing – so can be easily missed on X-Ray. If you have been diagnosed with a Stress Fracture, we often suggest that you discuss Bone Density testing with your primary healthcare team.

Stress Fractures can be tricky to diagnose and can worsen with time if left unmanaged, so please contact our Team if you have Foot, Ankle or Lower Leg Pain that you are unsure about.

Stress Fractures Treatments & Services

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