Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:00

Diagnosis of Stress Fractures

A foot stress fracture is a microscopic crack in the bone, often caused by repetitive stress or overuse. This common injury can affect various bones in the foot, such as the metatarsals, and typically emerges gradually due to activities such as running or jumping. Recognizing the symptoms is vital, as persistent pain, swelling, and tenderness are common indicators. To diagnose a foot stress fracture, podiatrists employ a combination of clinical evaluation and imaging studies. X-rays may not immediately reveal the fracture, but MRI imaging or bone scans may offer more detailed insights. Medical history, physical examination, and a thorough discussion of the individual's activities contribute to an accurate diagnosis. Early detection is essential for effective management, often involving rest, modified activity, and sometimes bracing or casting. If you have foot pain, and believe it may be a stress fracture, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and treat this condition.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Joan Oloff, DPM from Los Gatos Foot and Ankle . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts


Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

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