Have you ever fallen and twisted your ankle? Has it ever taken too long to heal? When a sprained ankle occurs, there is a chance you might have a stress fracture. By better understanding stress fractures in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach, you can further improve your treatment options at Family Foot Center.
What is a Stress Fracture?
Stress fractures are tiny cracks that appear in your bones. These injuries are common in the bones in the lower body because they are responsible for distributing and bearing your body weight. Feet are particularly vulnerable to stress fractures in Boynton Beach and Boca Raton because they are responsible for absorbing your body weight during normal activities—such as walking, running or jumping.
The most common area affected by stress fractures in the lower body is the tibia—or shin bone. Also called “shin splints”, this pain is typically felt during physical activity. In reality, shin splints are not stressed fractures, though. They are actually the result of muscle pulling away from the bone. When they first appear, patients are advised to stop training altogether because muscle shin splints can actually cause stress fractures.
Symptoms and Causes of Stress Fractures in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach
Stress fractures are usually the result of an overuse injury and are most commonly experienced in runners and other athletes. Occurring over time due to repetitive forces that occur on weight-bearing bones and supporting muscles, the constant repetition eventually causes small cracks to form in the bone.
Because stress fractures are so small, they typically don’t cause any pain at first, but over time and repetitive motion, pain can develop in the affected area. While repetition and overuse are the most common causes of stress fractures, there are other factors that contribute to their development, including the following:
- Biomechanical problems
- Inflexible or weak muscles
- Training on the wrong surfaces
- Wearing improper or ill-fitting footwear
- Family history of osteoporosis
By understanding the causes of stress fractures in Boynton Beach or Boca Raton, you can seek treatment as needed.
Boynton Beach and Boca Raton Stress Fracture Treatment
To diagnose a stress fracture, our podiatrists in Boynton Beach, FL or Boca Raton, FL, will discuss your medical history and gather information about your symptoms. Next, Dr. Pinsky, Dr. Greissman or Dr. Aedo will perform a physical examination where they will check for areas of tenderness and pain. Once located, our foot doctors in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach may recommend imaging tests—like x-rays or an ultrasound—to help confirm the diagnosis of a stress fracture.
The treatment depends on the severity of your stress fracture. For mild stress fractures, Dr. Pinsky might recommend non-surgical treatment, including:
- Activity modification
- Protective footwear
- Better-fitting footwear
- Custom orthotics
When a stress fracture does not respond to the above methods, surgery may be recommended. Surgery usually involves inserting some type of fastener—like pins, screws, and/or plates—to support the bones in the foot or shin.
Contact Family Foot Center in Boynton Beach or Boca Raton about stress fractures, and to find the best treatment option for your condition.