Tag Archives: stress fracture

Don’t Stress the Gate River Run

The excitement of the Gate River Run is building here on the First Coast as the largest 15K race in the US will once again serve as the race where America’s top Olympic athletes will compete for $85,000 in prize money.  Many athletes can experience foot pain when they do not properly train for races or when they compete in too many and the repetitiveness of running causes an “overuse injury”.  The one overuse injury seen in many runners is the stress fracture.

Stress fractures are small, painful cracks in bones that are most commonly caused by forces that are repetitively applied to the bone overtime. It is very common for runners and track and field athletes to have stress fractures because they are running long distances every day and are therefore having these stresses occurring more at the bones in their feet.  Stress fractures are also seen in people who start a new work out program and do too much too quickly.  Another common reason in which stress fractures occur are because of osteoporotic bone, most commonly seen in the elderly and females.  Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bone, therefore making bones more susceptible to breaking.  Osteoporosis can be detected by a simple bone scan that can be done in the office.

At first, stress fractures may not be too bothersome, but they tend to get worse overtime.  Some ways to tell that you have a stress fracture include: increase in pain and swelling with activity, decreased pain and swelling with decreased activity, pain in a specific area, and pain that gets worse overtime.  After having a stress fracture for a long period of time, the pain may be chronic and/or get worse, so it is important to try and detect it early.  Many times the later you catch it the more difficult it is to treat, as well as taking longer to heal.  After a podiatric examination of the foot, the way to confirm that you have a stress fracture is to get an x-ray or MRI.  The mainstay of treatment for stress fractures is by immobilizing the foot, which is most commonly done by having the patient wear a removable CAM boot in which most cases they are still able to walk.

Here at First Coast Foot Clinic we treat stress fractures on a daily basis. Whether you’re a runner, have started a new workout program, or just have foot pain in general, make an appointment today to make sure you do not have a stress fracture.  Remember that they start out minimally painful, or sometimes even without symptoms so it is good to catch it early for the most effective treatment.

Basketball and Stress Fractures

052 Yao MingAfter nine years with the Houston Rockets Yao Ming announced his retirement. Affecting his decision to retire was a stress fracture in his left foot. While it is not stated which bone he fractured, it is probably his heel bone (calcaneus), or his second metatarsal—one of the bones of the front of the foot where the toes attach.

Stress fractures are a consequence of repeated weight on a bone without enough periods of rest. It is especially common in sports such as basketball, tennis, dance, and gymnastics, because an athlete will need to literally stay on their toes during play and training.

Whether you are the star center of the Houston Rockets, or a weekend warrior in a local league around Jacksonville, FL The First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic has these recommendations to help prevent stress fractures:

  • Avoid doing too much too soon: Instead, build your way up, setting incremental goals, so your body can become accustomed to your level of activity.
  • Diet: include foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen your bones.
  • Rest your feet! This will give your bones a chance to recover from the stress you put them through.
  • If it hurts, stop! Stress fractures are tiny, but painful. In fact, they are often not detectable on X-ray. The good news is that fractures are small enough to recover quickly, and, with adequate preventative measures, you’ll be back in the game!