Stress Fractures Among Athletes

Nearly one-fourth of all the bones in your body are in your feet. A broken (fractured) bone in your forefoot or in one of your toes is often painful, but rarely disabling. Most of the time, these injuries heal without operative treatment.

There are two types of foot fractures: stress fractures and general bone fractures. Stress fractures usually occur in the bones of the forefoot extending from the toes to the middle of the foot. Stress fractures are like tiny cracks in the bone that can grow larger over time if not treated properly. This type of fracture can happen with sudden increases in exercise (such as running or walking for longer distances or times), improper training techniques, or a change in surfaces.

There was a time when the most common group to be susceptible to stress fractures was those in the military with the repetitive nature of marching and running that was required on a daily basis. Athletes, from competitive sports to dancers, are now among the most prevalent group of stress fracture casualties. Gymnasts and dancers who train more than 5 hours a day are 16 times more likely to develop a stress fracture.

A biomechanical assessment, proper nutritional and behavioral counseling, a review of training surface and shoe wear, a revised training schedule and proper preventive care can lessen the risk of stress fractures. For a risk assessment, treatment or to speak with one of our podiatric specialists about athletic stress fractures, schedule an appointment by calling us at (502) 459-3338.

No Pain No Gain does not apply to stress fractures!