A  A  A   Print
Sports and FracturesDeporte y las Fracturas

Sports and Fractures

Fractures are breaks in the bone that are often caused by a blow or a fall. A fracture may be classified as a simple fracture (a thin fracture that may not run through the entire bone), or a compound fracture, in which the broken bone protrudes through the skin. Symptoms may include tenderness over the bone, swelling of the affected area, deformity of the limb, and increased pain with movement.

What are stress fractures?

Anatomy of the foot
Click Image to Enlarge

Stress fractures are weak spots or small cracks in the bone caused by continuous overuse. Stress fractures often occur in the foot after training for basketball, running, and other sports. The bones in the midfoot (metatarsals) in runners are especially vulnerable to stress fractures.

What are the symptoms of a foot stress fracture?

A stress fracture may not cause swelling. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the front of the foot, often after long or intense bouts of exercise

  • Pain that disappears after exercise, then returns when exercise is continued

The symptoms of stress fractures may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is a stress fracture diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a stress fracture usually is confirmed with a complete medical history and a physical examination. X-rays often cannot detect stress fractures because they are so fine, so a CT scan or an MRI may be performed. Once calluses form around the fracture, an X-ray can confirm a stress fracture. Sometimes, a bone scan is performed to detect a stress fracture.

Treatment for a stress fracture

Specific treatment for a stress fracture will be determined by your doctor based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the injury

  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies

  • Expectation for the course of the injury

  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • Rest

  • Cold packs

  • Medication, such as ibuprofen

  • Shock-absorbing shoes to use during exercise

  • Running on soft surfaces, such as grass

  • Physical therapy

  • Switching to a less stressful activity, such as swimming or biking

  • Wearing a brace or cast

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.