A stress fracture in your foot can cause pain that prevents you from participating in exercise and other activities, and it can cause severe complications if left untreated. The board-certified team of podiatrists at City Podiatry in New York City have the training and expertise to accurately diagnose stress fractures and provide the best possible treatment plan for your individual needs. Call the Midtown Manhattan office or use online booking to schedule an evaluation today.

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What is a stress fracture?

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in your bone that develop over time due to prolonged overuse or repetitive weight-bearing activities. If you participate in sports that involve a lot of running, or you quickly increase your level of exercise, you have a higher risk of developing a stress fracture. They also occur more frequently in people with conditions such as osteoporosis or osteopenia, which cause a weakening of the bones.

What are the symptoms of stress fractures?

The most common symptom of a stress fracture is the pain. It’s often made worse by walking or running, but your pain may also be more constant and aching. Symptoms can vary between different people, but some other common signs of a stress fracture include:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain when wearing shoes

The most common stress fractures in the foot occur in the metatarsals, the long bones between the center of your foot and the base of your toes. Your heel bone is also susceptible to stress fractures.

How are stress fractures diagnosed?

The doctors at City Podiatry have extensive experience diagnosing and treating stress fractures. Your podiatrist begins with a comprehensive evaluation, which includes a detailed health history and X-rays, to rule out any other conditions and determine the exact location of your stress fracture. In some cases, your provider may order an MRI or blood tests if they suspect a pre-existing medical condition has contributed to your stress fracture.

How are stress fractures treated?

Your podiatrist recommends a treatment plan based on the location and severity of your injury. Treatment may include:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE therapy)
  • Activity modification
  • Footwear changes
  • Prescription or custom-molded orthotics
  • Surgical boots or splints to limit mobility

Your plan will likely last somewhere from six to eight weeks, during which you’ll return to City Podiatry for X-rays and examinations to monitor your progress. Once your stress fracture has healed fully, and your symptoms have resolved, you’ll gradually resume normal activities. It’ll take some time, but if you follow your doctor’s instructions and proceed slowly, you should be able to resume high-impact exercise eventually, and without the risk of further injury.

To learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of stress fractures at City Podiatry, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.