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Doctor insights on: Occult Stress Fracture

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What is stress fracture?

What is stress fracture?

Injury to the bone: Bone is constantly being broken down and re-built. With repetitive activity, it may break down more than it repairs itself resulting in a fracture of the bone. Rest, sometimes immobilization, and rarely surgery are treatment options. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
3,144 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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What's a stress fracture?

What's a stress fracture?

A fracture w/o injur: A stress fracture is typically a fracture due to repetitive activity and stress but not due to an injury
these injuries are often secondary to running, marching or other repetitive activities
many cannot be diagnosed on x-ray exam but only with maris or bone scans. ...Read more

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What is a stress fracture?

What is a stress fracture?

Load beyond capacity: If weight bearing bones are loaded beyond what their capacity is to handle the force, the bone will break down and become injured and cause stress fracture. ...Read more

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What is a pars stress fracture?

What is a pars stress fracture?

Stress fx of back: A pars intra-articularis fracture (spondylolysis) involves most commonly the lower back (lumbar region). It can be present in approximately 20% of individuals as congenital condition (from birth). It may also happen as an overuse or traumtic injury. The mechanism of injury is hyper-extension of the back as occurs in gymnastic, offensive lineman, ice-skaters. Treatment is conservative. ...Read more

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How to heal a stress fracture?

How to heal a stress fracture?

Stop Stressing.: Healing stress fractures is accomplished, for the most part, by simply reducing weight bearing (i.e. stress) to the involved bone. The remedy may involve complete off weight as with crutches, to simply wearing regular shoes but drastically reducing time on the foot. Typically a weight bearing cam walker boot works just fine. The trick is to stay off foot long enough for the fracture to heal. ...Read more

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How to diagnose stress fracture?

Xray: An xray may show a fracture. If not, and there is a high clinical suspicion, an MRI or nuclear bone scan can be helpful. ...Read more

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What can cause a stress fracture?

Overuse: Stress fractures are the result of repetitive micro trauma to a bone from overuse. This is typically seen in individuals who start on a very vigorous exercise program that their body is not in condition to handle (e.g. New military personnel in boot camp). ...Read more

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How is a stress fracture treated?

How is a stress fracture treated?

Remove Stress: A stress fracture is an overuse injury of the bone, typically a long bone of the legs or a foot bone resulting from increased stress on the bone that caused tiny cracks to develop. If the overuse (running, vigorous training) continues a complete fracture can result. Treatment consists of eliminating the inciting stress, using braces or crutches until the bone recovers. Osteoporosis is also a risk. ...Read more

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How do you diagnose a stress fracture?

How do you diagnose a stress fracture?

Symptoms and Imaging: Stress fractures usually cause pain, but may also cause swelling and discoloration.

The nature of stress fractures can make them very hard to identify on x-rays, but some may be apparent based on their size or phase in healing. Larger stress fractures or those that have had some to start healing are often the ones that can be seen with x-ray.

The most specific test for a stress fracture is a mri. ...Read more

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Can a stress fracture becomes a break?

Can a stress fracture becomes a break?

Yes: A stress fracture is in fact a "break" in the bone and so all stress fractures are "breaks" in the bone already. Thank you. ...Read more

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How do you diagnose a stress fracture?

How do you diagnose a stress fracture?

May need mri: Many stress fractures don't show up on
xray exams
if there is suspicion of a possible
stress fracture, an MRI would best show
the injury
a bone scan would be helpful but is not
as specific for location as the MRI would be. ...Read more

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Will stress fracture cause physeal injury?

Will stress fracture cause physeal injury?

Possiblyi: If the stress fracture involves the physis, then it can cause injury. A fracture close to, but not in the physis, can also stimulate the bone to grow longer than the other side. ...Read more

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Is it ok to exercise with a stress fracture?

Is it ok to exercise with a stress fracture?

Progressive return: There are usually ways to exercise without involving an injured body part. In the early stages of healing you should refrain from any stress on the injured area. As healing progresses you should resume exercise of the involved body part with low resistance/ low impact activities, and gradually progress. In many cases pain / swelling will guide the speed of your return to activity. ...Read more

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How can you make a stress fracture heal fast?

How can you make a stress fracture heal fast?

Bone stimulator: A bone stimulator in my experience will make a stress fracture heal faster than natural forces alone unfortunately stimulators are expensive and health insurance companies only pay for them in treating non-unions or delayed unions of certain types of fractures. ...Read more

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Do tuning forks always find a stress fracture?

Do tuning forks always find a stress fracture?

No: Tuning forks are a neat tool that some doctors carry and can use for this purpose. Stress fractures tend to not like vibration related to tuning fork or ultrasound. Unfortunately it is not the best test. Bone scans or MRI is better. ...Read more

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How do you know if you have a stress fracture?

How do you know if you have a stress fracture?

May need mri: Many stress fractures don't show up on
xray exams
if there is suspicion of a possible
stress fracture, an MRI would best show
the injury
a bone scan would be helpful but is not
as specific for location as the MRI would be. ...Read more

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How serious is an undiagnosed stress fracture?

How serious is an undiagnosed stress fracture?

Stress fracture: Depends entirely on the location. Some stress fractures will heal almost regardless of treatment and don't even require significant activity modification (example: midshaft fibula). Others can progress to a complete fracture which if it displaces can be very serious (example: femoral neck). ...Read more

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Is it possible that a stress fracture not heal?

Is it possible that a stress fracture not heal?

YES: You frequently hear of professional athletes having a stress fracture that does not heal, and they have the best treatment possible! I would order an MRI; if not healing, I would try a bone stimulator. Problems like diabetes and RA, and medications like prednisone, can affect healing.
Sincerely,
Dr. Latva ...Read more

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Why does my stress fracture hurt more each day?

Frank fracture?: Have you been applying mechanical load (weight-bearing) to the area of stress fracture. If so this could cause the stress fracture to convert to a frank fracture. ...Read more

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If I have a stress fracture, how would it be treated?

If I have a stress fracture, how would it be treated?

Conservatively...: Usually rest is the treatment. Rest will prevent the stress fracture from progressing to a larger fracture. ...Read more

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What are safe exercises to do with a stress fracture?

What are safe exercises to do with a stress fracture?

Non weightbearing: Non weight bearing activity such as light cycling, swimming and weight lifting (while sitting and lying down). Discuss with your doctor. Will probably be able to gradually increase stress as symptoms resolve. Dr l. ...Read more

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Stress fracture pain hasn't gone away after two weeks?

Stress fracture pain hasn't gone away after two weeks?

Too soon...: Your body is just beginning to heal the fracture at this time. Normally the fracture site is stable after 5-6 weeks, but then more bone will be laid down and then remodeled at the fracture site. Be patient, it's going to take a while. ...Read more

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How will I know what does a stress fracture feel like?

How will I know what does a stress fracture feel like?

Painful: A stress fracture will present with similar symptoms as any fracture with pain over the area of the break, along with swelling. Different people describe pain differently. ...Read more

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Should a stress fracture stop hurting and start again?

Should a stress fracture stop hurting and start again?

Can, if insufficient: Time is given to treat it, allowing it to heal completely. If not completely healed it'll recur. ...Read more

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I keep being active, can this lead to a stress fracture?

I keep being active, can this lead to a stress fracture?

Stess Fracture: Stress fractures frequently develop if you do too much or do it too quickly. Gradual increase in activity over time should prevent stress fractures from developing. ...Read more

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Can you tell me what it's like to have a stress fracture?

Can you tell me what it's like to have a stress fracture?

Pain: Usually with feet: increasing severity of pain with walking, can be accompanied by swelling, bruising and tenderness to touch at the site of the break. X-rays won't necessarily show anything until a few weeks later, when healing activity can be visible. Improves slowly with immobilization in a cast, rest, over eight weeks or so. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: stress fracture?

Stress: One of the few aptly named problems in medicine. It occurs when the stresses that a bone sees is greater than the strength of the bone. This occurs over time and is usually related to repetitive activities. If it occurs with a trauma then it is not considered a stress fracture, but a traumatic fracture.
We see these commonly in the feet, tibia and hip. (note weight bearing). ...Read more

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Are there stretches and exercises to help a stress fracture?

Are there stretches and exercises to help a stress fracture?

Nothing: Best treatment is immobilization and rest. Get off it. Should be doing no stretching or exercising that affects the injured area. ...Read more

Dr. Scott Keith
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
2,317 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