Stress fractures in the ankle and foot
Stress fractures are common in the foot and ankle and are caused by overuse. We can get lots of bruising in the bone (stress response), or a stress fracture (cortical stress fracture). When it is a stress fracture in the outer cortical bone it is usually not seen well on x-ray. The most common stress factures in the ankle and foot are:
- Tibial stress fractures: Stress fracture in the shinbone
- Talar stress fracture: Stress fracture in the talus bone of the ankle, gives deep ankle pain.
- Calcaneal stress fracture: The heel bone can become stressed and fracture
- Metatarsal stress fracture: The long bones of the foot can become stressed and fracture especially in runners.
- Navicular stress fracture: This is one of the bones of the foot just below the ankle.
- Malleolar stress fracture: This presents along the inner or outer aspect of the ankle.
Causes of ankle and foot stress fracture
The causes of stress fracture in the ankle and foot are from overuse. Therefore stress fractures are more common in the athletic population. Running sports such as long distance running, soccer and AFL can cause this. Activities that involve large jumping forces, high impact exercise or high power output such as sprinting are also common causes.
Symptoms of ankle and foot stress fracture
Ankle and foot pain are the most common symptom of an ankle or foot stress fracture, depending on where it was located. Pain is usually related to activity and can be vague. Symptoms get worse with increased activity.
Treatment of stress fractures in the ankle and foot
The treatments at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C), as directed by our chiropractors and physiotherapists will involve removing the stress, giving exercises to maintain fitness that are safe and allow for healing to take place. Re-entry into sport will depend on the sport, where the stress fracture is, the level of sports involvement and goals of the athlete. It is the return to sport and exercise that must be monitored so the person does not go backwards. Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) is a foot and ankle treatment centre of excellence located in Balmain and Dee Why, Sydney.