At Texas Foot Specialists we find many patients think a bone is either broken or it isn’t, but there is type of break known as a stress fracture that doesn’t go all the way through the bone. Stress fractures are often the result of an injury or overuse and are not as severe as a regular fracture if they are treated promptly. The problem is that many patients put off seeking medical care for a stress fracture because the pain can be intermittent, and the other symptoms—bruising, redness and swelling at the site—may also come and go depending on your activity level. If you experience a pain in your foot that you can’t explain, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Houston (713) 664-6677, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Pasadena (281) 991-0600 office as soon as you notice symptoms that are recurring. Our podiatrists Dr. Gregory Mangum or Dr. Bruce Miller will be able to diagnose a stress fracture and prescribe the treatment to help your bones mend. Delaying treatment for a stress fracture will result in a significantly longer healing period and may also lead to greater long-term disability.
You can be proactive about preventing stress fractures in the following ways:
- Limit repetitive stress on your feet. If you are a runner or participate in another sport that features an action that puts pressure on one part of your foot over and over, you may have an elevated risk for a stress fracture. Even having a job where you are standing for long periods of time on a hard surface can lead to a stress fracture. Be sure to vary your exercise regimen and take breaks if you have work that requires lots of standing.
- Watch where you’re going. Oftentimes stress fractures are the result of a slip or fall and maybe not even a very big one. Pay attention to changes in pavement elevation, objects in your path and the condition of the surface you’re walking on. Rain or ice can obviously make your path slippery. Avoid carrying too many packages as well because that further obstructs your vision.
- Don’t overdo the holiday goodies. Maintaining a healthy weight is important in preventing stress fractures. Carrying extra pounds puts an additional strain on the bones of your feet.
- Get your vitamin D level checked. Although calcium is necessary for strong bones, so is vitamin D because it’s what enables your body to absorb the calcium. A vitamin D deficiency can mean weaker bones and a higher risk of fractures.