- This article is about stress fractures in bones. For stress fractures in engineering, see fracture and fatigue .
A stress fracture
is one type of incomplete fracture
in bones. It is caused by "unusual or repeated stress" and also heavy continuous weight on the ankle or leg. This is in contrast to other types of fractures, which are usually characterized by a solitary, severe impact.
It could be described as a very small sliver or crack in the bone
; this is why it is sometimes dubbed "hairline fracture". It typically occurs in weight-bearing bones, such as the tibia
(bone of the lower leg) and metatarsals
(bones of the foot).
It is a common sports injury
, and most cases are associated with athletics.
Stress fractures usually have only a few symptoms. A stress fracture could present as a generalized area of pain and tenderness associated with weight bearing
. Usually when running, a stress fracture in the leg or foot will cause severe pain at the beginning of the run, moderate pain in the middle of the run, and severe pain at the end and after the run.
As with most conditions, a stress fracture is best diagnosed after interview and examination by a physician. Investigations are not necessary to diagnose a stress... Read More