How to Detect and Treat Stress Fractures Early | Ohio State Sports Medicine

A very common injury I see that’s oftentimes
preventable is stress fractures. Stress fractures are an overuse injury to the bone. It’s when
the bone breaks down with activity and doesn’t have enough time to build back up. If you’re
aware what to look for, you can catch this off early and prevent it from progressing.
I always tell my patients, your leg is a smarter doctor than I am. If you’re having more or
increasing pain with activity, and pain that is even now progressed to where it’s present
at rest, you have to listen to your leg. It’s trying to tell you to back off. Typically
for stress fractures the first line treatment is just rest. It’s okay to cross-train, so
if you have a leg injury, it’s okay to do core or upper-body work, but try to avoid
high impact to the area. Acetaminophen is okay for pain, but if you’re requiring doses
around the clock or increasing doses, please come into the office so you can have a further
evaluation. An initial period of rest, for maybe two weeks is adequate if your symptoms
have improved, gradually resume your activities. However, if pain persists beyond this rest
period, it is then important to make sure you get further evaluation, as some of these
progress and can be potentially dangerous.

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