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Stress Fracture

What is a stress fracture?

A stress fracture in an incomplete crack in the bone caused by overuse. A foot that is not structurally sound is prone to developing stress fractures. Even a normal foot can easily develop a stress fracture from repetitive use. Symptoms may include pain, redness, and swelling.


  • 0.7-15% of athletics injuries are stress fractures.
  • Track athletes have the highest amount of stress fractures.
  • The first metatarsal accounts for 10% of metatarsal stress fractures.
  • The second, third and fourth metatarsals account for 90% of metatarsal injuries.
  • There is a decrease in the incidence of stress fractures in men with lean body mass.
  • 8.8% of stress fractures occur in the metatarsals.
  • 25.3% of stress fractures occur in the tarsal bones.
  • 0.9% of stress fractures occur in the sesamoids.
  • 28% of stress fractures occur in the calcaneus.

Causes of stress fractures:

  • Overuse or strain of the foot.
  • Medical conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • Medications such as steroids.
  • Sudden increased activity level.

What can you do?

  • Use cold compresses or ice.
  • Get complete rest.
  • Elevate the feet.
  • Stay off your feet.

What will Dr. Allen do for you?

  • Perform a physical examination.
  • Perform x-ray evaluation and future exams as needed.
  • Immobilize or cast the foot/leg.
  • Prescribe custom orthotics for long term control and prevention.
  • Prescribe medications when indicated.