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Doctor insights on: How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Stress Fracture And Tendonitis

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How can you tell the difference between a stress fracture and tendonitis?

How can you tell the difference between a stress fracture and tendonitis?

X-ray: They may co-exist but by definition a stress fracture will typically be confirmed by some imaging technique, usually plain x-ray but possibly MRI or bone scan. The diagnosis can be made but not confirmed in the absence of positive imaging if the history is right and no other diagnoses fit.

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
3,122 Doctors shared insights

Stress (Definition)

Stress affects most people in some way. Acute (sudden, short-term) stress leads to rapid changes throughout the body. Almost all body systems (the heart and blood vessels, immune system, lungs, digestive system, sensory organs, and brain) gear up to meet perceived danger. These stress responses could prove beneficial in a critical, life-or-death situation. Over time, however, repeated stressful situations put a strain on the body that may contribute to physical and psychological problems. Chronic (long-term) stress can have real health consequences and should be addressed like any other health concern. Fortunately, research is showing that lifestyle changes and stress-reduction techniques can help people learn ...Read more


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How can I tell the difference between a stress fracture, patellar tendonitis and shin splints?

How can I tell the difference between a stress fracture, patellar tendonitis and shin splints?

Location: For one would differentiate between patellar tendonitis and shin splints. Stress f/x and shin splints is a little more difficult. Sometimes an astute clinician could use a tuning fork to aid in diagnosis, an MRI would differentiate, xrays on first shooting may not be helpful.

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What would be the differences between tendonitis and a 5th metatarsal stress fracture?

What would be the differences between tendonitis and a 5th metatarsal stress fracture?

Fracture=bone: A stress fracture would be an injury to the bone - basically a crack in the bone, like a crack in a vase. Tendonitis is a condition of the tendon, in which the tendon is inflammed.

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Peroneal tendonitis or lateral malleolus stress fracture, how to know the difference?

Peroneal tendonitis or lateral malleolus stress fracture, how to know the difference?

Location of pain: Tendonitis will also affect the peroneal muscle so the whole side of your leg will hurt. A stress fracture should only hurt in a localized area.

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Is there a difference in pain between a metatarsal stress fracture and tendinitis in the foot?

Is there a difference in pain between a metatarsal stress fracture and tendinitis in the foot?

Not really: They can feel similar. A clinical exam helps best to determine one from the other as Xray does not always show stress fracture. Best to see a foot specialist

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How to know if I have tendonitis or a stress fracture?

How to know if I have tendonitis or a stress fracture?

You can't know: Where is the pain? It is difficult to answer this question without specifics. Have a doctor evaluate the issue.

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How can I distinguish between peroneal tendonitis or lateral malleolus stress fracture?

How can I distinguish between peroneal tendonitis or lateral malleolus stress fracture?

Clinically: By palpation an astute clinician appreciates the difference in anatomical location which can be subtle as the proximity of the two is obvious, diagnostic testing such as MRI would differentiate. But, kep in mind treatment can be similiar, so if you go into a cam walker boot you should heal either and don't really have to know which it is. Tendonitis is the more common of the two.

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Foot stress fracture 7 months ago had bone scan but my foot still hurts when I walk doc says its tendonitis don't know?

Foot stress fracture 7 months ago had bone scan but my foot still hurts when I walk doc says its tendonitis don't know?

Stress Fracture?: Stress fracture can present as you described. Discuss the results of the scan with your doctor and don't be afraid to look for a second opinion, it always helps.

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How can you distinguish between tendinitis, bursitis or stress fracture?

From a radiology: Standpoint it is simple. An MRI will easily distinguish between those three abnormalities.

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Dr. Said I had a stress fracture that healed itself on my small toes area-how come I didn't know? 1/16 ankle tendinitis could that be similar pain?

Stress fracture: Is not a complete farcture or broken bone. The evidence of a previous stress fracture can be picked up sometimes on xray, CT scan or even MRI. You may have only noticed some joint pain or tenderness and it may not have caused you a lot of pain. It could result from a fall, trauma like stubbing your toe really hard or an increase in activity. If it did not bother you, you may have healed quickly.

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How do you tell the difference between a stress fracture of metatarsals and a ligament tear?

How do you tell the difference between a stress fracture of metatarsals and a ligament tear?

X-ray: An x-ray will tell you if you have a fracture although sometimes it does not show for 10 days after injury.

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How can you tell the difference between a stress fracture and a strained tendon in the foot?

How can you tell the difference between a stress fracture and a strained tendon in the foot?

An x-ray: Would be helpful, sometimes serial x-rays are needed. This is when an x-ray is taken and then repeated a week or 2 later. An MRI for sure can tell the difference. Finally, a good clinician based on clinical exam and history can often times make a highly educated guess.

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How to tell the difference between a shin splint or stress fracture?

How to tell the difference between a shin splint or stress fracture?

Shin pain: "shin splint" typically refers to pain on the front of the lower leg, . Pain in this area may come from medial tibial stress syndrome (mtss), stress fractures, or compartment syndrome. Identifying the underlying reason for your pain can then help with a specific plan of care. Treatments usually consist of rest, stretching, ice, massage, or orthotics. (drmarkgalland. Com).

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Describe difference between a stress fracture on the metatarsal, and metatarsalgia?

Describe difference between a stress fracture on the metatarsal, and metatarsalgia?

Stress fracture: Is a break in the bone. Metatarsalgia is a general term for pain to the metatarsal head regions. Someone can have pain to the met heads from a skinny fat pad, or a bursitis etc it is a generic term.

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Dr. Adam Lewis
792 Doctors shared insights

Fracture (Definition)

A fracture is a broken bone. As there is cartilage at the end of many bones at the joint, a fracture may also include a break in the cartilage. Fractures and broken bones are the same thing. It seems that many believe that a "fracture" is a lesser injury or an incomplete break in the bone, but this is not correct. Fractures may be displaced or ...Read more


Dr. Jeffrey Wint
2,308 Doctors shared insights

Broken Bone (Definition)

Is it broken or fractured is a question I am often asked. The answer is basically that a broken or fractured bone is the same thing. A fracture means a break in the cortex or the strong layer of outer bone cells. In an adult the average time for that to heal varies greatly but is often considered to ...Read more