What Is a Stress Fracture?
A stress fracture is a small crack (or severe bruising) in a bone. This is a common injury that generally occurs among athletes or those who participate in high-impact sports and activities.
If you have had a recent sports injury and wonder if you have a stress fracture, schedule a consultation with our team at OrthoNeuro.
Our expert orthopedic specialists offer personalized treatment plans in sports medicine for various sports injuries. So call or book an appointment today.
What Causes Stress Fractures?
Stress fractures occur when there is overuse of a bone over time.
Athletes and those who participate in high-impact exercise and sports are more prone to develop stress fractures. Around 50% of sports injuries are overuse injuries.
Stress fractures can occur anywhere in the body where there are repetitive movements. Stress fractures often affect weight-bearing bones in your foot and ankle.
These bones absorb the repetitive stress caused by walking, jumping, and running. This is why most athletes are susceptible to stress fractures in their feet and lower legs.
Although stress fractures (also called hairline fractures) are common among athletes, they can affect anyone who performs an activity with a repetitive force on the bone.
Certain risk factors, such as being overweight or having osteoporosis which decreases bone density and strength, can also cause a stress fracture.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stress Fracture?
Most often, the initial signs of a stress fracture can be mild. This makes them easy to ignore or brush aside.
However, the longer you allow the repetitive forces to damage the bone without time to heal, the more likely the fracture can worsen.