Stress fracture - 2nd metatarsal I am a 17 year old female suffering a stress fracture in the 2nd metatarsal. I first went to my doctor on december 2nd and he told me that I had inflamed joints and told me to take 2 weeks off from my job as a waitress. I
First, . First, some background on stress fractures: the mechanism of a stress fracture begins with something called a stress riser, a weakened area of the bone that predisposes itself to breaking. Steel girders used in bridges and buildings are x-rayed before they leave the plant to look for these stress risers. If one of these is used in a bridge, it can withstand multi-ton forces for decades without a problem. Then, one day, a pigeon sits on the girder where the stress riser is and it cracks. Stress fractures occur the same way. You don't have to injure yourself or fall off the roof to get a stress fracture. Usually, stress fractures aren't visible on ordinary x-rays. They are hairline fractures that, on a 2-dimensional x-ray, can't be seen... That is, until 14 days have past. After 14 days, although the fracture itself may still not be visible, as the bone tries to heal, "bone callus" can be seen. It's this white, fuzzy looking cloud around a fracture. When we see bone callus, we know there is an underlying fracture, and we also know healing is taking place. Since stress fractures are not big breaks and are not displaced, there is never a need to "reduce" the fracture, and we usually use a soft cast or even a removable cast (cam walker) instead of a hard cast. Given that your job requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, it's essential you take time off from work and allow it to heal. Fractures take 6-8 weeks to heal, and even after that, you'll be the first one on your block to know when it's going to rain for up to a year! i have a serious issue with your doctor giving you a cortisone injection, however. Cortisone, a steroid, reduces inflammation. One of the stages of bone healing is the inflammatory stage. Cortisone will suppress that and delay bone healing. Even repeated doses of non-steroidal inti-inflammatories like advil (ibuprofen) can delay bone healing. I agree with his advice to keep off your foot and wear the boot. A follow-up MRI in another month would also be a good idea. Hope this helps! good luck!