What are stress fractures and who all are at risk of getting it?

What are stress fractures and who all are at risk of getting it?

Stress fractures occur when there are small cracks in the bones due to various reasons like rigorous physical activity or repeated stressful pressure on bones. 

It hinders one’s ability to move and causes extreme pain. Although there are cases where they naturally heal over time if a patient takes rest and avoids stressful physical activity, it is always best to go see a specialist to treat it at the earliest. 

Stress fractures mainly occur in the bones of the lower leg due to extreme stress over some time. The following areas are prone to a stress fracture, 

  • Tibia – is also known as shinbone or shank bone. 
  • Fibula – calf bone
  • Metatarsal – bones that are in the foot
  • Navicular- is also known as tarsal bones. It is shorter than the metatarsal and is in the foot. 

Who is likely to have a Stress Fracture? 

Athletes, gymnasts, and sportspersons are most likely to have a stress fracture at some point in their life. 

It is because of rigorous exercises, injury while playing, or stress on the bones over a long period and people associated mainly with sports and athletics are more prone to it. 

However, stress fractures may also be common among regular individuals if they have been putting a lot of strain on some part of their bones while performing any activity for a while.

Patients who are afflicted with stress fractures may experience spondylolysis which is lower back pain. 

Dr. Bhutani best orthopedic hospital in Ludhiana at Eva hospital has been able to cure numerous patients under his care while giving them the best possible line of treatment after detailed evaluation and diagnosis. 

Eva Hospital is well equipped and specializes in the treatment of stress fractures. If you have the following symptoms, we encourage you to visit Eva Hospital at the earliest: 

  • Experiencing pain in the bones of your leg
  • Sudden muscular cramping
  • Decrease in muscular strength
  • Inability to be mobile as in normal 
  • Constant pain or noticeable swelling 


Diagnosing Stress Fractures

At Eva Hospital, we make sure that our patients get the best with the use of the latest technology and provide a concrete diagnosis. 

We use the following means to diagnose stress fractures in patients, 

  • Bone Scans – radioactive tracer which is more precise. 
  • Normal X-ray- a simple method for patients who are not in advanced stages. 
  • Computer Tomography (CT) scan – gives in-depth insights from different angles. 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans – accuracy, dependable, and a contemporary method of diagnosis. 


Treating Stress Fractures 

There are several methods of treating stress fractures. It largely depends on the patient and the extent of the injury. The main methods and lines of treatment include surgery, lifestyle, and dietary changes.

Rest is the most important factor in treating stress fracture. It is crucial to allow the bone that is damaged to completely heal and avoid putting more pressure on it as a result of physical activity. 

Patients are also given physiotherapy or ice packs for treatment and to reduce pain. Walking boots and leg brace are given if it is seen to benefit through an early recovery of the patient. 

In case of severe injuries and extreme stress fracture, patients may undergo surgery or bone remodeling. These methods are usually used by major athletes and sportsperson to recover in quick time.

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Doctors are also known to prescribe an additional dose of Vitamin D and Calcium for strengthening the muscle and bones. 

Stress Fractures are curable and with the right diagnosis and treatment, can be resolved easily.