The Holiday season has arrived, which means hanging Christmas lights, Christmas shopping, and holiday parities are among us. Perhaps you have found that the enjoyable holiday activities have become a burden because of irritating foot pain. Although there are many different injuries in the foot that present with pain, swelling and difficulty walking, a stress fracture could be the cause of your foot pain.
A stress fracture can occur in any bone where excessive amounts of repetitive stress are placed. Running is a common cause; however, with the holiday season something as simple as those long hours holiday shopping may be the culprit. Although stress fractures can happen in any bone the most common bones of the foot are the long bones, or metatarsals. These bones are located in your forefoot and take the brunt of stress during walking or running. The pain is typically in one foot, however, in some cases it can be located in both feet.
Symptoms for a stress fracture may include:
- Difficulty walking
Treatment consists of conservative care. Once the diagnosis is confirmed by clinical exam, X-Ray, Ultrasound or MRI conservative care consists of off-loading the foot where the stress fracture is located. Depending on the severity and progression of the injury your podiatrist will determine how long a walking boot or off-loading device will be needed. In addition anti-inflammatory medications, rest, ice, compression and elevation will help reduce pain and swelling and get you back on your feet sooner. Your podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics or quality inserts. Orthotics will help support and balance your foot relieving any high-pressure areas and help prevent the return of a stress fracture.
With the Holiday season in full swing, don’t let a stress fracture keep you from enjoying this precious time with friends and family. If you or someone you know has any foot issues, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.