All About Metatarsal Stress Fractures
The metatarsal bones are the foot bones that connect the toes to the ankles, and stress fractures occur as small breaks in the bones due to repeated stress. Those who have increased their activity level, put pressure on the feet, or have a bone condition are at a higher risk for developing a stress fracture. Generally, the pain from a metatarsal stress fracture starts over a wide area of the foot during activity, but goes away with rest. Left untreated, the pain will be present all of the time. If you are experiencing this kind of pain, it is important to consult with a podiatrist. X-rays or a bone scan may be needed to make a proper diagnosis, and orthotics or a cast may be necessary. A podiatrist will also be able to help determine when it is safe to go back to physical activity.
Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Nevada. Our Doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.
How Are They Caused?
Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon. Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.
- Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
- Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
- Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
- Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
- Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures
Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.