The most common injuries to the bones in the lower body are stress fractures, which are tiny cracks that appear in your bones. This is because these bones are responsible for distributing and bearing your body weight. Your feet are particularly vulnerable to stress fractures in Scottsdale because they are responsible for absorbing your body weight during normal activities, including walking, running or jumping.

The most common area affected by stress fractures in the lower body is the tibia—or shin bone. Also called “shin splints”, this pain is usually felt during physical activity. In reality, though, shin splints are not stressed fractures—they are actually the result of muscle pulling away from the bone. When they first appear, patients are advised to stop training altogether because muscle shin splints can actually cause stress fractures in Scottsdale patients.

Symptoms and Causes of Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are usually the result of an overuse injury and are most commonly experienced in runners and other athletes. Due to repetitive forces that occur on weight-bearing bones and supporting muscles, stress fractures can occur over time. This constant repetition eventually causes small cracks to form in the bone.

And, because stress fractures are so small they typically don’t cause any pain at first. However, over time pain can develop in the affected area. While repetition and overuse are the most common causes of stress fractures in Scottsdale, there are other factors that contribute to their development, including:

  • Biomechanical problems
  • Inflexible or weak muscles
  • Training on the wrong surfaces
  • Wearing improper or ill-fitting footwear
  • Family history of osteoporosis

By being aware of these causes, you can begin to take steps to further protect yourself in Scottsdale from stress fractures.

Scottsdale Stress Fracture Diagnosis and Treatment Options

To diagnose a stress fracture in Scottsdale, Dr. Mark Forman will discuss your medical history and gather information about your symptoms. Then, he will perform a physical examination where he will check for areas of tenderness and pain. Once located, Dr. Forman may recommend imaging tests, such as an x-ray, to help confirm the diagnosis.

The treatment for your stress fracture will depend on the severity of your condition. For mild stress fractures, Dr. Forman will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment, such as:

  • Activity modification
  • Protective footwear
  • Better-fitting footwear
  • Casting
  • Padding
  • Custom orthotics

When a stress fracture does not respond to the above methods, Dr. Forman, our Scottsdale, AZ podiatrist, may recommend surgery. Treatment with surgery usually involves inserting some type of fastener—like pins, screws, and/or plates—to support the bones in the foot or shin.

Contact Put Your Feet First today to learn more about stress fractures in Scottsdale, AZ, and available treatment options.