Stress fracture (definition) according to the Mayo Clinic -
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone. Stress fractures are caused by the repetitive application of force, often by overuse — such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. Stress fractures can also arise from normal use of a bone that's been weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis. Stress fractures are most common in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Track and field athletes are particularly susceptible to stress fractures, but anyone can experience a stress fracture. If you're starting a new exercise program, for example, you may be at risk if you do too much too soon.
I mention this because I am seeing it a lot in our patients down here participating in activities such as golf and tennis for example. This condition is associated with a multitude of symptoms, some of which I will relay to you. My biggest concern with this condition is that it will progress into a full blown fracture. Many of you may have been watching the NCAA basketball tournament, which left spectators stunned as a Louisville players leg fractured on national television in a seemingly normal and harmless situation. Well, I'm not sure if it was the case in this situation, but many times it is a pre-existing condition or weakness that allows this to occur. If anyone is interested, here is a link to a video of the actual injury (Warning: Graphic)http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50144023n.
We here at Gulf Coast Foot and Ankle Center are always cognizant of these potentially underlying conditions, and are diligent in the prevention of more debilitating injuries. That is why I must stress that pain, especially new pain, no matter how harmless it may seem, is your body's only way of letting you know that something is wrong! It is imperative that you listen to your body, and take appropriate action. Sometimes this just means rest. Other times, it may require professional care. PLEASE be aware that no situation is to small to seek a professional opinion, and nobody should ever feel embarrassed or weak because of this. You only get one body and one life, and ultimately you are responsible for both. We here at Gulf Coast Foot and Ankle Center are vividly aware of this, and can guide you and assist you with this responsibility.
Now, here are those symptoms that I mentioned (per the Mayo Clinic):
Symptoms of a stress fracture include:
- Tenderness in a specific spot
- Increased swelling and pain with activity
- Decreased swelling and pain with rest
- Earlier onset of pain with each successive workout
- Continued pain at rest as the damage progresses
*Please don't let these symptoms progress! Call us at Gulf Coast Foot and Ankle Center at 239-566-8800 for a thorough foot and ankle examination.