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How to Tell if You’ve Fractured a Metatarsal Bone

Tuesday, 26 April 2022 00:00

The metatarsals are long bones in the foot that link the toes with the heel and arch. When these metatarsal bones are repeatedly stressed over time (as opposed to a sudden or acute injury), a stress fracture can occur. The second and third metatarsals are the most commonly injured, and can occur more frequently in military recruits, athletes and dancers who run and jump regularly. Metatarsal stress fractures can be caused by overtraining, long-distance running, having poor body mechanics or running form, pushing your body beyond your fitness level, or training with improper footwear or on hard surfaces. Having diabetes or certain forms of arthritis can also increase your risk factors, as can vitamin D or calcium deficiencies. Signs of a metatarsal fracture include pain in the metatarsal(s), as well as tenderness, or swelling in the area. If you have symptoms like these, it is suggested that you stop participating in physical activity until you can be examined and evaluated by a podiatrist. If you do have a metatarsal fracture, your podiatrist may treat it with rest, stretching and/or muscle strengthening exercises, icing, immobilization, casting, prescription footwear, and more.


 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact John Baker, DPM from Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Our offices located in Spring Hill and Homosassa, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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