By Jeffrey Carlson, DPM
Stress Fractures are actually very common in the sports world. Just before the 2009 NFL draft, where he was drafted as the 10th pick to the San Francisco 49ers, Michael Crabtree was diagnosed with a stress fracture to the left foot.
The Boston Celtics’ Bill Walton has become a sort of guru to stress fracture sufferers. The injury interrupted his career three times, once almost ending it. “One of the hardest things about stress fractures for athletes is the mental uncertainty,” says Walton, who suffered his first such injury in his left foot as a member of the Trail Blazers in 1978.
What Is Stress Fracture?
Stress fractures can be an overuse injury which is most seen in athletes. It is commonly seen in the foot bones and caused by unusual or repeated stress. These kinds of injuries are also called ‘fatigue fractures’. Technically wrong and rapid training can cause a stress fracture. Women seem to be at higher risk of foot stress fractures than men. Eating disorders, poor nutrition, and amenorrhea make women more vulnerable to stress fractures. Most times, stress fractures may appear like ‘hairline fractures’ but if you don’t get treatment at the right time, a re-injury can happen and that may end your sports career forever.
Symptoms of Stress Fractures
-You may feel pain or tenderness in a generalized area.
-There can be pain in the affected area in the night.
-Diffused swelling could be seen at the affected area.
-A bruise is common but not always seen
-Rest is the best and only way to get stress fracture cured. It takes six to eight weeks to heal properly. This fracture occurs mostly in weight bearing bones. So obviously the healing may be delayed. If you resume full activity before the fracture gets healed completely, bigger and harder to heal fractures may develop.
Prevention of the stress fracture
-Don’t go for rapid, hard, technically wrong exercises.
-Following a healthy diet which Includes Vitamin D and calcium-rich foods will prevent such fractures.
-Use good quality comfortable shoes for your foot.
-When pain or swelling begins, stop the activity as soon as possible and rest for a few days. If pain persists, consult Dr. Jeffrey Carlson at Tooele Medical Group Foot & Ankle Clinic by calling 435-843-3859.