|Stress Fractures of the Tibia and Fibula|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too quickly (most common)
- Switching to a different playing or running surface
- Wearing improper or old shoes
- Sex: female
Certain sports, especially involving jumping or running:
- Track, especially distance running
- Amenorrhea (women only)
- Reduced bone thickness or density
- Poor muscle strength or flexibility
- Overweight or underweight
- Poor physical condition
- Localized pain on the bone
- Pain when pressure is applied directly over the fracture and the area around it
- Pain when putting stress on the affected leg
- Swelling and warmth at injury site
X-ray—a test that uses radiation to take pictures of structures inside the body, especially bone
- Stress fractures are very tiny and usually not seen on an x-ray until at least two weeks after symptoms begin.
- MRI scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to show swelling and inflammation inside the bone
- Bone scan—a test that uses a short-lived radioactive substance to show a stress fracture
Crutches or a Cane
- Begin with nonweight–bearing activities, such as swimming or bicycling.
- Next, you can do weight-bearing, nonimpact exercise, such as a stair machine.
- Gradually, you will be able to add low-impact activity, starting with walking.
- Once you can do fast-paced walking with no pain, you can start higher impact activity, such as light jogging.
- This gradual progression continues until you have reached your pre-injury activity level. You can return to full activity once you do not feel tenderness of the bone.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
American Podiatric Medical Association http://www.apma.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Marx RG, Saint-Phard D, Callahan LR, Chu J, Hannafin JA. Stress fracture sites related to underlying bone health in athletic females. Clin J Sport Med. 2001;11:73-76.
Sanderlin BW, Raspa RF. Common stress fractures. Am Fam Physician. 2003;68(8):1527. Available athttp://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/1015/p1527.html.
Stress fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00112 . Updated October 2007. Accessed June 25, 2008.
Stress fractures. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-fractures/DS00556. Updated November 3, 2006. Accessed June 25, 2008.
Wells CL. Women, Sport & Performance: A Physiological Perspective. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1991.
Wheeler P, Batt ME. Do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs adversely affect stress fracture healing? A short review. Br J Sports Med. 2005;39:65-69.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -