SO WHAT’S A STRESS FRACTURE?
A Stress Fracture is a fracture that occurs in the foot due to abnormal stress on normal bone. Now this can happen in just about any bone in the foot, but most commonly happens in the metatarsal bones, which are the long bones in the foot, which end in the ball of the foot, and most specifically in the 2nd metatarsal. Typically the history of this type of fracture is a patient who has been doing a lot of walking or perhaps started running or increased their running routine and started to feel a little bit of pain and swelling in the front of the foot and usually has been going on for a few weeks before they come into the office. What we’ll see on an X-ray is usually just a slight change in the bone which is enough to signify that there is some sort of healing going on and that means that the body is healing a process in which the bone has broken down from the pressure that was exerted on it. Usually these type of fractures heal very, very well in about 3-4 weeks. The most comfortable type of treatment is what we call a Cam Walker which is a ski boot type of walker which most patients also call a Frankenstein walker. Usually when I walk in the room with this type of walker, patients go wide-eyed and they hate it and they walk out loving it because it takes all the pressure off the foot and allows you to go through most of your normal activities and most of your normal day to day routine without being slowed down by the pain and at the same time allows the fracture to heal in a normal position. So, if you’ve been feeling pain and swelling in the ball of the foot and it has been going on for a few weeks and it’s not getting better, it’s important to come in for an evaluation and an X-ray to see if you might have a stress fracture.