Foot Health Care | Stress Fracture Heel

Stress Fracture Heel

To heal the pain you have, you must face the pain you have. The calcaneus bone is the big heel bone at the back of the foot. Due to overuse a stress fracture can occur in the bone. Stress fractures are tiny, incomplete breaks or cracks in a normal bone caused by repeated trauma or pounding. When muscles are overtired (fatigued), they are no longer able to absorb the shock of repeated impacts. When this happens, the muscles transfer the stress to the bones, creating a small crack or fracture.

Stress fractures can occur in both the upper and lower body, but they are most common in the foot. Stress fractures also can occur with normal usage if osteoporosis or some other disease weakens your bones and leaves them vulnerable. The pain related to a stress fracture begins gradually and intensifies with continued activity. The most commonly affected site is the second or third of the long bones (metatarsals) between the toes and the mid foot. Stress fractures also can occur in the heel, the outer bone of the lower leg (fibula) and the navicular, a bone on the top of the mid foot.

Doing too much too soon is a common cause of stress fractures. For example, runners who are confined indoors for the winter may want to pick up where they left off at the end of the previous season. Instead of starting slowly, they try to match their previous mileage. The fractures are often called “insufficiency fractures” because there isn’t enough bone to withstand the normal stress of daily use. Female athletes who experience irregular or absent menstrual periods may also have decreased bone density and an increased risk of stress fractures. Improper sports equipment, such as shoes that are too worn or stiff, can also contribute to stress fractures. A change of surface, such as going from a grass tennis court to one of clay, or a change from an indoor to an outdoor running track, can increase the risk of stress fractures.

Symptoms Of Stress Fracture Heel

* Pain that develops gradually, increases with weight-bearing activity, and diminishes with rest
* Pain that becomes more severe and occurs during normal, daily activities
* Swelling on the top of the foot or the outside of the ankle
* Insidious, gradual onset heel pain
* Tenderness to touch at the site of the fracture
* Possible bruising

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2 Responses to “Stress Fracture Heel”

  1. Ann Riggs on September 26th, 2009 3:59 pm

    I am dianosed with a stress fracture after being in a cast for 10 weeks for surgery on the heel and achilies tendon. Now I am back in a boot to take pressure off of the heel. The pain in a stabbing like tooth ache pain. All that I read is about over use of the foot and not about how to prevent this from happening after surgery on the foot.

  2. tom truban on March 27th, 2010 1:41 am

    I have a heel stress fracture 4 month duration rest doesnt seem to be helping any info on bone stimulators or light therapy aiding in healing

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