Foot Health Care | Stress Fracture Treatment

Stress Fracture Treatment

Treatment will depend on the location of the stress fracture. Most stress fractures will heal if you reduce your level of activity and wear protective footwear for two to four weeks. Non impact aerobic activity such as swimming, rowing, cross-country skiing, walking or bicycling to maintain cardiovascular fitness. Though the pain may subside after the second week of treatment, returning to a normal exercise routine can delay healing and can cause permanent damage. Your doctor may apply a cast to your foot or recommend that you use crutches until the bone heals. In some patients, surgery may be needed to ensure proper healing. In some cases, you may need surgery so that the orthopaedist can insert a screw in the bone to ensure proper healing.

Stress fractures that don’t heal properly can develop into complete breaks of the bone and can become a chronic problem; therefore, it is better to prevent them in the first place. Here’s what you can do:

* Slowly increase any new sports activity. Gradually increase time, speed and distance; a 10 percent increase per week is fine.
* Maintain a healthful diet. Eat calcium and vitamin D-rich foods to help build bone strength.
* Alternate your activities. For example, you can alternate jogging with swimming or cycling.
* If pain or swelling returns, stop the activity. Rest for a few days. If pain continues, see an orthopaedist.
* Strength training can help prevent early muscle fatigue and prevent the loss of bone density that comes with aging.

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