Stress fractures

stressfracturePoor biomechanics can lead to foot stress fractures. The biomechanical forces occurring at heel strike, mid stance and toe off phase of gait can create mechanical instability within the forefoot. The resulting stress can lead to fracture. Stress fractures are most likely to occur in over pronators and athletes with a rigid (under pronating) foot type.

High impact forces can directly cause a stress fracture of the foot. Increased ground reaction force such as when running can put massive loads through the foot leading to sustained micro trauma of the bone. Over a period of time the bone becomes weakened and eventually breaks. Foot stress fracture is a common injury in soldiers, hence its other name ‘march fracture’. The repetitive nature military of training with heavy loads such as equipment etc leaves our military personnel more susceptible to stress fracture in the foot.

Symptoms

It is not usually hard for the athlete to spot whether or not they have a foot stress fracture. Pain is usual severe with weight bearing being particularly uncomfortable. Other symptoms of a stress fracture can include.

Redness on the top of the foot.

Swelling.

The area of the fracture will be warm to the touch.

Bruising (often quite evident after a few days).

Difficulty putting shoes on.

Throbbing.

Tingling or numbness of one or two toes due to swelling.