People who engage in high intensity sporting activities or strenuous lifestyles are likely to suffer from metatarsal stress fracture. This injury occurs when one or more metatarsal bones are fractured. This type of foot injury is mainly caused by extreme physical activity like playing football, running or martial training. The accumulation of stress due to physical activity can result in severe pain. Luckily, there are things you can do to help treat the condition.
Causes of Metatarsal Stress Fractures
In general, stress fractures are caused by two situations. To start with, if a bone is subjected to excess stress for an extended period, it is likely to crack. This normally occurs in healthy and fit individuals who subject their body to excess physical activities. This kind of fracture is normally experienced by sportspersons and military recruits who engage in physical activities for long periods of time. They develop a stress fracture that leads to foot pain. The second situation is where people have extremely weak bones. This commonly affects women with osteoporosis. Normal activities, such as walking or jogging, end up putting excessive pressure on the weak bones. A stress fracture might then occur. In the foot, stress fracture normally affects the metatarsal bones.
In general, a metatarsal stress fracture is characterized by tenderness above the affected area. Usually, x-rays taken within the initial three weeks may not indicate its presence. Signs of new bone developing around the area may be evident if the x-ray is taken after the initial three weeks.
A bone scan can also help to diagnose stress fracture in the metatarsal bone. An MRI scan can also indicate a stress fracture and can also do so soon after the occurrence of the injury.
Metatarsal stress fracture can be treated by light exercises while the foot troubles and then continuous weight bearing in a post-operative shoe depending on the desired level of comfort.
Older people who experience a stress fracture should consult their doctor and undergo a test for osteoporosis.