Stress Fracture Treatment in Lafayette, LA
A stress fracture is a hairline crack in a bone. Unlike a partial or complete break, which can occur suddenly through direct trauma, a stress fracture develops gradually with repetitive strain. For instance, a crack may slowly form in a bone that is overused during vigorous physical activities, such as running and jumping, or even during daily activities if the bone has lost density and become weakened due to osteoporosis.
Stress fractures can affect anyone, but they are especially common among active individuals who participate in sports that exert pressure on weight-bearing bones. Some examples include soccer, basketball, and dancing, which continually stress the bones in the lower legs and feet. Certain factors can increase the risk of sustaining a stress fracture, such as a change in footwear or playing surface, or an increase in workout frequency, intensity, or duration.
What Are the Symptoms of a Stress Fracture?
As compared to the sudden, intense pain that typically occurs when a bone partially or completely breaks, the signs of a stress fracture tend to be more subtle. Initially, the injury may even go unnoticed. As the crack slowly grows in size, it may begin to produce vague pain that gradually intensifies with time.
If left untreated, a stress fracture will likely worsen, especially if the causal activities are continued. Therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms of a stress fracture and to seek prompt medical attention if they occur. Here are some signs to watch for:
- A deep ache or weakness in a leg, foot, arm, or hand
- Pain that develops after an increase in training
- Dull pain that comes on suddenly during physical activity, then goes away with rest
- Pain that intensifies at night
- Pain that progressively worsens despite rest
How Is a Stress Fracture Treated?
In most cases, a stress fracture can be effectively treated without surgery. However, the nonsurgical treatment process can be demanding, usually involving several weeks of physical therapy, as well as bracing to keep weight off the bone and hold it in the proper position until it heals. To promote full recovery and help prevent future injuries, it is essential to pinpoint the reason the stress fracture developed in the first place, then modify the causal activity as necessary.
Peter D. Vizzi, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who provides comprehensive orthopedic and sports medicine care in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr. Vizzi can evaluate your stress fracture and recommend an individualized treatment plan to help you get back to your active lifestyle as quickly and safely as possible.
To request an appointment with Dr. Vizzi at his state-of-the-art orthopedic center in Lafayette, LA, contact us today.