Doctor insights on:
Occult Stress Fracture
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
Exam and imaging: A stress fracture is a fracture but stress fractures may be hard to see on standard x-rays and additional studies such as bone scan or MRI may be helpful. A careful history and exam is also very important as you correctly implied it can be confsuing so seek out so called experts such as a hand surgeon or orthopedic surgeon who specializes in that anatomical region.See 3 more doctor answers
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.See 1 more doctor answer
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.
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.
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.See 1 more doctor answer
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.See 2 more doctor answers
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).
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. LatvaSee 1 more doctor answer
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
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