Unlike a fracture, which is a break in a bone that occurs from a single impact, a stress fracture is a small crack that happens over time and is caused by repetitive stress or force. It generally occurs in active individuals and takes place in weight-bearing bones, such as the tibia or the bones in the foot.
There are different types of stress fractures, but some of the most common ones are metatarsal stress fractures, navicular stress fractures, and tibia stress fractures.
Metatarsal Stress Fractures
This type of stress fracture usually happens to individuals whose activities place great amounts of stress on their feet continuously, such as gymnasts and dancers. The crack occurs in one of the metatarsal bones, which are the long bones located in the middle of the foot. Symptoms of this type of injury usually include pain and swelling in the middle and upper part of the foot.
Navicular Stress Fractures
This type of stress fracture is found in one of the tarsal bones of the ankle known as the navicular. Active individuals who participate in high-impact sports typically experience this type of fracture. Symptoms include pain in the arch of the foot as well as around the ankle joint.
Tibia Stress Fractures
A common stress fracture for runners, gymnasts, and volleyball players, tibia stress fractures take place in the lower leg. A person with a tibia stress fracture will experience pain around the shin bone that will worsen with activity but feel better when inactive.
If you think you may be suffering from a stress fracture of the foot or ankle, call one of the specialty‐trained doctors at BoulderCentre for Orthopedics & Spine by calling 303.449.2730 or by requesting an appointment online.