Foot Stress Fracture Care in Millsboro & Seaford, DE
Trusted Foot Stress Fracture Care in Millsboro & Seaford, DE
Southern Delaware Foot & Ankle Treats Stress Fractures
Southern Delaware Foot & Ankle has provided foot stress fracture treatment to Millsboro & Seaford, DE patients since 2000. Our practice works hard to offer the best foot and ankle care possible. We offer both medical and surgical services in full. Because of this, our staff can better provide you with high-quality treatment, education, and the healthy quality of life you deserve. Our doctors are well-versed in treating adults and children with injuries such as stress fractures. Call us to make an appointment today.
What Is a Stress Reaction & Fracture?
Think of a stress reaction as a deep bone bruise. Repetitive overuse or impact of force on the weight-bearing bones of your body will result in this condition. The weight-bearing bones are mostly found on the lower extremities. These include the shin, tibia, or foot. When a stress reaction goes untreated, it turns into a stress fracture. This involves a tiny crack in the bone and could occur elsewhere in the body. With proper care, stress fractures can successfully heal without further complications.
What Are the Causes of a Stress Fracture?
Several factors can cause stress fractures in your feet. Most of these can either be caused by extrinsic or intrinsic occurrences. Extrinsic factors include anything that happens outside of the body. This could be tied to environmental scenarios. However, intrinsic factors mean anything related to the patient that isn't impacted by an outside force. Causes of stress fractures could vary from anything, such as:
- Physical Activity – High-impact sports like tennis, running, basketball, or dance could create bone injury. If you train with improper techniques, this could also develop into a stress fracture.
- Diet – A lack of calories or vitamin D will weaken bones, making them prone to bruises and fractures.
- Age – Older patients tend to bruise or fracture easier than younger patients who have healthier, stronger bones.
- Weight – Either end of the spectrum can be at risk for stress injuries. A person with a low BMI is at risk due to weakened bones, while someone who carries much weight regularly stresses their bones.
- Anatomy – Imbalances, muscle weakness, or lack of flexibility can cause stress fractures. The structure of the foot with how it hits the ground plays a factor in the constant impact it sustains.
- Medical Conditions – Diseases like osteoporosis will put someone at a greater risk for injury. This is due to weakened bone strength and density.
Common Symptoms of Stress Fractures
If a stress fracture isn't treated in its early stages, it can grow increasingly more painful. Certain fractures sometimes will be considered high risk depending on their severity. At first, you may not experience any signs of injury, but over time it becomes noticeable. Depending on the activity and location, you can expect stress fracture symptoms to include pain, swelling, or aching. This discomfort can last during physical activity and resolve when at rest. Other people have constant pain, no matter if they are active or inactive. Overall, it is probably best to contact a physician if you are experiencing pain in any form.
How Do We Effectively Diagnose Stress Fractures?
Wondering how to tell if your foot is fractured? There are several foot stress fracture tests your doctor may perform. Imaging tends to be ordered most of the time for a thorough and accurate diagnosis. Your healthcare provider may take an X-ray, or send you for a bone scan or MRI. Each test has unique benefits and can be described as follows:
- X-Ray - X-rays don't usually pick up stress fractures early on unless the injury has been present for several weeks. The crack in the bone can be seen earlier on a bone scan or MRI.
- Bone Scan - Bone scans require radioactive material to be sent through an intravenous line. This allows absorption on the scanned image, reflecting any existing problems with a bright white spot. Other bone injuries may look similar, so this test isn't entirely specific for stress fractures.
- MRI – An MRI provides detailed images of your bones and soft tissues. It can pick up on lower-grade stress injuries, which makes it better to distinguish between stress fractures and soft tissue issues.
Thorough Stress Fracture Treatment & Prevention
Your doctor will recommend treatment for stress fractures in the foot based on the location and severity of your condition. There are many ways to prevent and treat fractures. If you have a stress reaction, staying away from the initial activity that caused the initial injury will prevent a fracture. Knowing previous underlying conditions will also help avoid specific scenarios that could result in a stress fracture. After you have been examined for your injury, some treatments include:
- Avoiding Repetitive Activity – Stress fractures occur from the force of repetitive activity. It's essential to avoid the same damaging impact that created the fracture.
- Applying an Ice Pack – Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes to alleviate pain and swelling.
- Resting – Giving your stress-fractured area a break from the activity will aid in proper healing. You should rest for two to eight weeks.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medication – Medication such as ibuprofen helps to reduce discomfort and inflammation.
- Protective Footwear or Crutches – A stiff-soled shoe, CAM boot, or crutches will lessen the stress placed on your injury.
Foot and Ankle Care You Can Trust
Our Southern Delaware Foot & Ankle team specializes in treating athletes and those prone to common foot stress fractures. We aim for treatment that doesn't involve surgery so you can efficiently get back to your activity or sport as soon as possible. If a procedure is required, you can be assured that we offer the highest-quality care. When an accidents/injuryies happen, we accept same day appointments for urgent care. Your health is our first priority, and it is our privilege to serve the Millsboro and Seaford areas. Call and let us be your trusted source for foot and ankle care.