Tuesday, 14 June 2022 00:00

Stress Fractures in the Feet

Stress fractures, also known as hairline fractures, often occur in the feet. They are microscopic cracks in a bone that develop when the bone cannot handle the weight placed on it. These breaks in the foot often result from overuse or repetitive activity. While anyone can sustain a stress fracture, athletes, especially runners, dancers, and soccer players, are said to be more at risk. Health problems like osteoporosis, other foot problems, or an abnormal gait can also affect bones and cause stress fractures. The location of the stress fracture has a lot to do with how it heals. Those in areas with poor blood flow do not heal as well as those in areas with good blood flow. As the injury progresses, one will likely experience more pain, swelling, bruising, and weakness in the area affected. Walking or running may be affected due to an inclination to relieve pressure in painful areas by moving differently. If ignored, a stress fracture can become a complete bone break. If you suspect there is an injury to a bone in your foot, it is important to consult with a chiropodist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.  

A stress fracture often requires medical attention as it can progress and worsen over time. Please consult with Paul A. Scotti, D.Ch from West Toronto Foot & Ankle Clinic Inc. . Our chiropodist will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

A stress fracture refers to a fine crack in a bone. This type of fracture is especially common in the feet, as they often endure repetitive pressure from daily activities such as walking or running. Stress fractures occur when the affected bone can not support the load being placed on it. Stress fractures in the foot can occur in any bone, but often affect the metatarsal bones which connect the toes to the rest of the foot, the heel bone, or the navicular bone on the top of the foot. 


Symptoms of a stress fracture may include: 

  • Deep, dull pain

  • Sharp, localized pain

  • Intermittent pain

  • Tenderness 

  • Weakness

  • Swelling

  • Bruising 

  • Changes in the biomechanics of the foot


Stress fractures in the foot are diagnosed via medical history and a physical exam. You may also need to have diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, bone scans, or an ultrasound performed to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out any other problems.  


Nonsurgical treatment options include resting, icing, compressing and elevating the affected foot, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, modifying your footwear, wearing a cast, and using crutches. Certain types of foot fractures, such as navicular fractures, respond poorly to nonsurgical treatment and may need surgery to fully heal. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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