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What Does a Foot Fracture Feel Like?

Dr. Eman Elmi
December 16, 2022
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Foot injuries can be very serious, resulting in limited mobility in both the short and long term. But it is not always easy to identify when you have sustained a serious foot injury. A foot fracture is one of the worst injuries you can sustain to your feet. If left untreated, foot fractures can also cause even worse injuries later on. As such, knowing how to spot the signs of a foot fracture, as opposed to a less serious injury, can be crucial. 

Everybody should know what a foot fracture feels like, but this is especially important if you live an active lifestyle. Foot injuries often occur as a result of physical activity and tend to be more common in active individuals. Here is everything you should know about identifying the signs of a stress fracture in the foot.

Stress Fracture in Foot: Causes

Part of what makes stress fractures such a big concern is that they can often occur seemingly without warning. This is especially true of stress fractures in the foot because our feet are often under a lot of stress.

Stress fractures are often the result of overuse or repetitive force. In other words, a foot stress fracture may be the result of gradual wear and tear on the bone. Simply walking around should not cause a stress fracture. But running, jumping, or repeatedly starting and stopping can all increase the stress on your foot. Athletes are usually at the highest risk for foot stress fractures, like people with conditions such as osteoporosis.

You may not feel like anything is wrong leading up to a stress fracture in the foot. And even when a foot fracture first occurs, the pain may seem very mild. But over time, the pain can become worse as the fracture goes untreated. So how can you identify when you have suffered a foot stress fracture?

Stress Fracture Foot: Identification

As mentioned above, it can be difficult to identify signs of a stress fracture right away. However, if you are an athlete or work on your feet a lot, you should monitor your feet for any unusual pain.

The most common place for a stress fracture on the foot to occur is the metatarsal bones. These are the long, skinny bones between the toes and the ankle. If you notice pain along this area, it could be the first sign of a stress-fractured foot.

Of course, not all foot pain is caused by stress fractures. So differentiating between the pain from a foot stress fracture and other causes is also important. One of the easiest signs to watch out for is when pain occurs. If you experience worsening foot pain during physical activity and relief during inactivity, it may be a stress fracture. More serious signs, if the foot fracture goes untreated, may include bruising or swelling along the foot or ankle.

Treating a Foot Stress Fracture

Treating a foot stress fracture is significantly easier if you catch it early. Because stress fractures are small, hairline fractures caused by overuse can usually heal on their own. However, the bone requires rest to heal and recover.

The first step toward recovery from a stress fracture in the foot is a proper diagnosis. If you think you have a foot fracture, an expert can take an x-ray to examine your foot. If you do have a stress fracture, they will likely prescribe rest, ice, compression, and elevation. With proper care and enough time, your stress fracture can heal on its own.

If you are concerned about your foot health and want to consult an expert, consider booking a consultation with Diablo Foot and Ankle.

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