Anyone who does a lot of running knows the dangers of suddenly upping your distance or intensity. It may have been a long time coming, but you can suddenly develop a hairline crack in one of your foot bones from that extra effort, as well as gradually from general overuse. The thing is, even though it’s a surface break, it can hurt as much as an acute break that goes all the way through the bone. Stress fracture treatment is just as important as treating a full break.
We want to share some ways of soothing pain from a fracture and helping it to heal. First things first: running caused the stress fracture, so stop running for a while to let it heal. That doesn’t mean being totally inactive for 6 to 8 weeks. You can do other cardio methods like biking and swimming that don’t pound on the bone. This might also be your chance to work in some strength training to improve your muscular endurance.
Second, some protection may be in order. In some cases, a cast and crutches may provide the best for recovery, but other options are a walking boot or stiff-soled shoes that help immobilize the bone for proper healing.
Third, it always helps to elevate your foot and use an ice pack to reduce swelling and inflammation around the injury. And we may start you on simple exercises to maintain range of motions as well.
Finally, we can prescribe medication for severe pain if necessary, but we may also start you on calcium and vitamin D supplements to help you build stronger bones.
Usually these conservative methods allow the bone to heal and you can return to normal activities. However, there is always the risk of non-union (bone tissue does not meld together) or mal-union (bone tissue joins but in the wrong position). In these rare cases, we may use a surgical procedure to fasten the bone fragments with screws, or even perform a bone graft if needed.
For expert diagnosis and care of any type of foot fracture, visit Family Foot and Ankle Center, Inc. We have several locations in the greater Cincinnati area. Use our Ohio number – (513) 728-4800, our Kentucky number – (859) 282-1572, or our toll free number – (888) 689-3317 to set up your appointment, and we’ll guide you to the best recovery strategies for your foot fracture.