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A Hairline Fracture and a Stress Fracture Are the Same

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

A stress fracture is considered to be a hairline fracture. It can happen in the foot, and is often the result of participating in running and jumping activities. It occurs when the bones become fatigued, and cannot support the shock that comes from activity. It generally develops gradually, and many people tend to ignore the pain and discomfort that often accompanies this type of injury. Common symptoms that many patients notice include swelling at the end of the day, and it is difficult to walk as the fracture gets worse. Relief may be found when a boot is worn, and this may provide adequate support as the healing process occurs. This typically takes approximately six weeks, and is further evaluated to see if additional treatment is needed. Mild stretches may accelerate the healing process, which may be beneficial in strengthening the overall foot. If you have foot pain and feel it may be a stress fracture, please confer with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can diagnose and treat this condition.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from The Podiatry Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Richmond and Glen Allen, VA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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