Can I Recover from Stress Fracture of the Foot & Ankle?

Stress fractures of the foot and ankle result from tiny cracks or severe bruising in the bone. In many cases, stress fractures are the result of overuse, poor technique, or insufficient rest or conditioning. Thankfully, with proper medical care and treatment, it is possible to alleviate painful symptoms and enable a full recovery from stress fractures of the foot or ankle. 

What Causes Stress Fractures of the Foot & Ankle?

There are many potential causes for stress fractures of the foot and ankle. Commonly, an immediate increase in physical activity — without adequate strengthening or conditioning beforehand — causes these types of fractures. Though increases to training intensity or duration can produce the same effect. 

For certain patients, acute injury or trauma can lead to the signature cracks or bruising of stress fractures of the foot or ankle. Chronic diseases like osteoporosis can also degrade bone integrity and cause stress fractures to develop in the feet or ankles. 

What are the Symptoms of Stress Fractures of the Foot & Ankle?

When a stress fracture develops in the foot or ankle, many patients complain of gradually increasing and painful symptoms. Typically, the pain gets progressively worse with weight-bearing activities, such as walking or running. Then the pain usually dissipates with proper rest. 

From an overarching standpoint, the symptoms of stress fractures of the foot or ankle include:

  • Bruising or discoloration in the foot or ankle;
  • Inflammation or swelling in the foot or ankle;
  • Soreness or tenderness in the foot or ankle; 
  • Acute or throbbing pain in the foot or ankle. 

How Does a Doctor Diagnose Stress Fractures of the Foot & Ankle?

When a patient demonstrates any of the common symptoms of a stress fracture to the foot or ankle, doctors will typically start the diagnosis with a physical examination. In the process, doctors will usually test for range of motion, flexibility, and pain.

After completing the physical examination, doctors will often order imaging tests. These tests can include X-rays, bone scans, and MRIs to pinpoint a stress fracture in the foot or ankle.

Is it Possible to Treat Stress Fractures of the Foot & Ankle?

With help from qualified medical professionals, yes, it is possible to treat stress fractures in the foot or ankle successfully. But it is imperative for a qualified medical professional to diagnose and treat this condition. Given the severity of these injuries, patients should consult with their medical provider instead of attempting self-treatment. 

For many patients with stress fractures to the foot or ankle, the common treatment options are relatively conservative. For minor stress fractures, anti-inflammatory medication, rest, and immobilization can allow the injury to heal properly. 

In more severe cases, doctors often recommend that the patient wear a protective device, such as orthotic shoes, passed soles, or a brace or cast. In the most extreme situations, surgery might be needed to repair stress fractures to the foot or ankle. 

After treatment, the recovery process can take approximately two months, assuming the patient follows all medical guidelines. Though the recover time can fluctuate greatly based on numerous factors, including patient history and injury severity.

Do You Need Medical Help with Stress Fractures of the Foot or Ankle?

If you need medical help with stress fracture of the foot and ankle, it can be extremely practical to seek professional assistance from an adept orthopaedic surgeon. At the Orthopaedic Associates of Riverside, our surgeons are certified at the board level with an established concentration on orthopaedic medicine, including stress fracture of the foot and ankle. To obtain high-quality medical care for stress fracture of the foot and ankle ,contact us today!