Stress Fractures

Hope Timm

What is a stress fracture?

A stress fracture is a crack in the bone. They tend to develop from overuse like running long distance or high impact sports. Stress fracture tend to be in the foot and lower leg. There are studies that show athletes involved in track and field, basketball, tennis, dance, and gymnastics are at a high risk for stress fracture. In all of these there is a repeated stress of the foot striking the ground.

How A Stress Fracture Happens?

Bone consistently remodels itself to protect itself from stresses involved in psychical activities. Stress fractures happen as a result of increased remodeling and weakening of the outer surface of the bone.


  • Pain that develops gradually and gets worse the more weight put on it and stops when resting
  • Pain that becomes more serve and happens during normal activities
  • Swelling on the top of the foot or outside of the ankle
  • Tenderness to touch at the site of the fracture
  • Possible bruising


  • Self diagnosis
  • X-Ray
  • MRI
  • Bone Scan


  • Have a healthy diet. Eat calcium and rich vitamin D
  • Use proper sports equipment
  • Don't wear old or worn running shoes
  • Alternate activities (swimming instead of running)
  • Start new sports slowly
  • Strength training
  • If pain or swelling returns, stop activities and rest for awhile and see a doctor if it gets worse