A stress fracture is an overuse injury or a repetitive action injury. It is a common sports-related injury and occurs most often in the foot and lower leg (weight-bearing bones). A stress fracture occurs when a muscle is overtired or is under too much stress. The stress translates to the bone causing the bone to break/fracture.
History and physical exam by a musculoskeletal expert is the first step. X-ray, MRI, a bone scan may be recommended.
It typically takes six to eight weeks for a stress fracture to heal, so your physician may recommend rest and non-weight bearing activity for that time. Protective footwear may be recommended to reduce stress on your foot and leg.
Some stress fractures require surgery, called internal fixation, where the bone is supported by inserting a type of fastener like a pin, screw or plate.