Fractures generally refer to a break in the bone or surrounding cartilage. A stress fracture, on the other hand, is the result of a more specific process in which increased repetitive force is applied to the bones of the feet or ankle. As the damage continues, the bones will begin to reabsorb bone cells quicker than they can be produced. Eventually the bones will fatigue over time and will create micro-fissures. It is when these cracks grow that stress fractures are finally present. Many patients will experience this slowly-developing condition as they increase the intensity of their physical activities. Athletes should be sure to use proper gear during their activities to reduce stress on all of their weight-bearing bones.
As more than 50% of these types of fractures occur in the lower limbs, patients should take special care to monitor the condition of their foot and ankle bones by contacting our Medford office at 541-776-3338. Individuals can also schedule appointments online with Dr. Evan Merrill.