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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Dr. Latva ...Read more
See below: Stress fractures occur in the bone not in soft tissue. ...Read more
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
Can, if insufficient: Time is given to treat it, allowing it to heal completely. If not completely healed it'll recur. ...Read more
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
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
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
Nothing: Best treatment is immobilization and rest. Get off it. Should be doing no stretching or exercising that affects the injured area. ...Read more
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