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Treating Stress Fractures Caused by Overuse

Typically caused by overuse or repetitive activities, stress fractures are incredibly common in runners and other athletes who participate in running sports, such as soccer and basketball. Whenever such a person suddenly changes their exercise routine or varies the intensity of their workouts, it leaves them more susceptible to developing a stress fracture. Overuse stress fractures typically occur because of an athletic movement. When activities such as running are repeated so often that your weight-bearing bones and supporting muscles don’t have enough time to heal in-between exercise sessions is a potential cause. The weight-bearing bones found in your feet and lower legs are particularly vulnerable to stress fractures. This vulnerability is especially true for your metatarsals, calcaneus (heel), fibula (lower leg), talus (ankle joint), and the navicular (midfoot). Other causes may include osteoporosis, poor conditioning, and improper techniques and equipment.

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The Prognosis on Stress Fracture Treatments and Healing

Depending on the severity of the injury, recovery from a stress fracture may vary from 6-8 weeks to even longer. Suppose you return to normal activities too quickly. In that case, you can delay the healing process and increase your likelihood of developing a complete fracture. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are usually recommended as a first course of treatment, followed by modified activities, protective footwear, and casting. However, some stress fractures require surgery to heal correctly. Should you experience pain or swelling with your activity, you should immediately refrain and consult a KSF Orthopaedic Center physician for more information on stress fractures.

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