Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Diagnosis for Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures of the foot, considered to be overuse injuries, are cracked bones that result from repetitive impact. They are common to runners, especially those whose footwear does not support the foot sufficiently. Women with osteoporosis are also prone to getting stress fractures. A podiatrist can diagnose stress fractures, starting with a medical history of your past injuries, along with a review of your eating habits, exercise regime, and daily activities. X-rays may not be able to detect the hairline fractures until a month or so following the injury, so other types of imaging tests may be necessary. A bone scan may be conducted, calling for a dose of radioactive material given intravenously. However, the results may not be conclusive, because many types of bone problems look alike. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test may be administered. This process uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field that create detailed images of the bones. The MRI is considered to be the best indicator of stress fractures, because it shows fractures sooner than an X-ray can, and it also differentiates between bone and soft tissue injuries. An ultrasound test or a CT scan (computed tomography) also can be used to diagnose stress fractures. If you believe the pain in your feet is being caused by a stress fracture, please consult a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.


Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Cleveland Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctors 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 Cleveland, Independence, and Kent, OH . 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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