Three Options for Stress Fracture Foot Treatment in Princeton

Faith A. Schick, DPM February 14th, 2019

Treat Your Feet! Use These Tips for Stress Fracture Foot Treatment

Do you suspect you have stress fractures in your feet keeping you from performing to the best of your ability? Stress fracture foot symptoms include pain in the area while active. If you are an athlete, ignoring the pain will only perpetuate the problem. Check in with one of our Podiatrists at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in Princeton to determine the source of your discomfort and find out if you do need stress fracture foot treatment.

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone of an overused part of the body. They commonly appear in athletes, particularly track runners, gymnasts, and tennis and basketball players. Their feet and lower legs are specifically vulnerable to stress fractures, as they are subjected to a great deal of pressure during these activities. Learning about stress fractures while suspecting you have them may be daunting, but you can rest assured knowing most treatment options are simple and of low intensity. Below are three stress fracture foot treatment options you can discuss with your doctor.

Know Your Stress Fracture Foot Treatment Options

  1. Modify your footwear. You may not be able to totally stay off of your feet while recovering, so we recommend wearing protective footwear whenever you need to move around or go somewhere. This may include shoe inserts for added comfort or extra support. The protective measures you take with your footwear depend on the location of your stress fractures, so it’s important to talk to your doctor first before modifying your shoes. Additionally, make sure that the inserts or protective shoes fit well and do not force your feet into unnatural positions. Shoes that do not fit properly can cause bunions, calluses, and other foot disorders. Stress fracture foot treatment should not create new problems for your feet!

  2. Stay off your feet. One of the top stress fractures causes is repetitive activity, so temporarily stopping the activity is often a first step to recovery. This can be difficult for athletes who are in the middle of their season. Nevertheless, the longer a rest period is put off, the longer it will take for the athlete to recover and perform at his or her best again. During the recommended six to eight week rest period, use the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compress, elevate) to treat your feet. Discuss alternative exercises for this time with your doctor, as well. Low-impact exercises, such as swimming, using an elliptical machine, and biking, are the safest options; however, if any pain occurs with these activities, you should stop the exercise immediately and tell your doctor. The main objective is to avoid aggravating the injured area.

  3. Consider a cast or brace. After your doctor orders and examines the X-rays of your stress fractures, she or he should be able to accurately determine the locations of the injuries. This is sometimes a determinant for whether or not a cast or brace is needed for recovery. More specifically, metatarsal fractures (located between your toes and the middle of your foot) have a greater chance of requiring a cast for treatment than fractures on the toes. The fifth metatarsal (the long bone outside of the foot) typically takes the longest to heal and also might require additional support during recovery. Casts keep your bones in a fixed position, so you do not worsen the injury with pressure or movement.

Stress Fracture Foot Treatment in Princeton

Athletes may be tempted to exercise through the warning signs of stress fractures on their feet. If you are in pain while on your feet, stop the activity you think is causing you discomfort and call your physician. The Podiatrists at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in Princeton can provide you with reliable advice for sports injuries, including stress fractures. Read the Runner’s Guide to Foot & Ankle Health for more information, visit us here, or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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