What are stress fractures?
Stress fractures are tiny, hairline cracks in the bones of the feet. They most often occur in the long metatarsal bones but can occur in any bone of the foot or lower leg. Generally there is no direct injury that can be blamed as the cause of a stress fracture and they typically result from repetitive overload of a bone. Repetitive injuries can result from high-impact activities such as running, excessive walking or abnormal foot mechanics/structure. They can also occur from compensated walking patterns from other non-related painful conditions in the foot or leg.
Symptoms of a stress fracture include:
Stress fractures are diagnosed through a clinical history and exam as well as using x-rays. Quite often x-rays fail to show a stress fracture and other tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.