According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, foot fractures are small cracks in the bone. The cause is usually overuse in high impact sports such as tennis, track and field, gymnastics, dance, and basketball. Muscles can become overtired and rendered less capable of cushioning shocks, transferring the stress to the bones. Hence, a stress fracture can result. Lack of conditioning, improper sports equipment, bad technique, and bone insufficiency such as caused by osteoposis can increase the possibility of a stress fracture.
The fracture can manifest itself by pain, inflammation, swelling, and tenderness. The pain especially can be felt when doing weight bearing activities.
If you suspect that you have a stress fracture in the foot or ankle, stop vigorous physical activity and perform first aid, such as applying an ice pack, even before seeing a St. Louis foot doctor. Otherwise, the fracture can become a complete break.
The podiatrist will take your medical history and perform a physical examination. He or she might also take an X-Ray or a bone scan to confirm the diagnosis.
Depending on the location and the severity of the fracture, the doctor will recommend keeping off your feet or switching to less stressful exercises like swimming and bicycling. Your podiatrist may advise you to wear protective footwear or even, in some cases, a cast. In more severe cases, surgery may be indicated. The doctor will also advise on any diet and lifestyle changes you might want to do in order to avoid further fractures. Once the pain is gone and the fracture healed, your foot doctor will advise you to return gradually to your previous exercise regime.