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A stress fracture, sometimes called a hairline fracture, is an injury caused by overuse - muscles become fatigued, are unable to absorb extra shock or weight, and eventually transfer the overload to the bone, causing a tiny crack. Stress fractures typically occur when the amount or intensity of an activity (like running) is increased too quickly. They're also common in sports when a player switches from a soft surface to a hard surface; in sedentary individuals who suddenly start exercising intensively; and in the elderly whose bones have been weakened by osteoporosis.
Stress fractures at first may be barely noticeable, but they will worsen over time without proper treatment. A stress fracture which isn't allowed to heal properly may lead to a traumatic fracture.
Symptoms of stress fractures include
Treatment for stress fractures
Your podiatrist at PA Foot and Ankle Associates may recommend one or more of these treatments to manage your stress fracture:
How to avoid a stress fracture
A Traumatic Fracture, also called an acute fracture or break, is caused by a direct blow or impact, or by a sudden twisting movement. Traumatic fractures are considered either stable, with no shift in bone alignment; or displaced, where the bone has visibly moved its position.
Symptoms of a traumatic fracture may include
Your podiatrist at PA Foot and Ankle Associates may recommend one or more of these treatments to manage your traumatic fracture:
Treatment of traumatic fractures in toes or metatarsals may include
Consequences of improper healing of a stress fracture or traumatic fracture
A stress fracture or traumatic fracture of the toes or foot should always be examined and treated by a podiatric surgeon, even if you were first treated in an emergency room. A podiatric surgeon, specifically trained in the complexities of the foot and ankle, is the most appropriate physician to develop a treatment plan for your fracture.