A stress fracture occurs when the muscles that surround and support a bone can no longer absorb all the force involved with movement. That stress can be transferred to the bone, causing tiny cracks that weaken the bone. These fractures can occur throughout the body but are most common in the bones of the leg and foot. A stress fracture is most likely to occur for people that place their body under repetitive stress through high-impact exercises like running and jumping. Another potential risk group are people who switch or increase the intensity of their workout regimens suddenly. People who are experiencing osteoporosis also have a higher risk of these fractures.
Stress fracture treatment begins with a proper diagnosis, which is often completed through taking an MRI and/or X-ray. Once accurately diagnosed, typical treatment options can include:
- Resting the affected area as necessary
- Modifying activities as needed to help the site heal faster
- Reconditioning and strengthening surrounding muscles through physical therapy and exercise as possible
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications to minimize swelling and pain associated with the fractures
In some cases, surgery may be recommended to help with healing a stress fracture, particularly when it occurs in the hip or another area with reduced blood supply. These measures may include installing screws to provide added support to the bone.
Contact Florida Medical Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine & Spine today to learn more about stress fracture treatment strategies and how we can guide you to a physician who can help diagnose and treat this condition.
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