What is a Stress Fracture
A Stress Fracture is literally a hair line crack in a bone anywhere in the body. It is not a complete fracture per say but may develop into a complete fracture if not cared for properly. In the latter case if there is a fracture of the lower limb or foot for example then the gold standard treatment will be at the minimum a below knee cast for six to eight weeks OR surgical intervention with metal plates and screw fixation.
Stress fractures can develop from direct trauma, but more commonly develop from overuse high impact sports such as football, long distance running and basketball. Most stress fractures occur in weight bearing bones of the spine, lower limbs and feet.
Symptoms of a Stress Fracture
- Characteristic limp when walking.
Localised tenderness, heat, swelling and pain when palpated.
Generalised bone marrow oedema in the area.
Constant and chronic deep dull gnawing ache sometimes with throbbing.
Bone pain can be debilitating and actually keep you awake at night.
Depression due to severe restriction of normal simple everyday activities.
How to Diagnose a Stress Fracture
Generally X Rays are initially taken to rule out a complete fracture. X Rays whilst useful have a tendency to lag behind by about two weeks of what the real picture is. A stress fracture will classically only show up as a thin white line after about twenty one days when the trauma first occurred. However from my experience I can say that many go undiagnosed simply because you cannot always see them radiographically.
As a Podiatrist and Naturopath with extensive experience in treating stress fractures I have found that the best way to get a definitive diagnosis with this type of injury is by utilising magnetic resonance imaging ( MRI ). They can be costly but at the end of the day prove more economical than using other diagnostic avenues that may miss such a definitive diagnosis. This in turn will give the patient a false sense of security. Also if the activity that caused the stress fracture in the first place is returned too soon a then larger and harder to heal stress fracture or even worse a complete fracture will result. Further injury to an unhealed stress fracture site could also result in Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD ) which has the potential to be a very serious chronic and debilitating ailment.
How to Treat Stress Fractures
Having suffered from a stress fracture myself of the talus (ankle bone) complicated with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, and then to be struck down again within a year with Sudden Osteonecrosis of the Knee (SONK) lateral femoral condyle due to “ insufficiency fracture” I can speak with some authority on the matter. I understand the physical, emotional and health issues involved as well as what it takes to get back to walking again. We all take for granted the simple act of walking. Is not that what God gave us our legs for ?
I consider myself fortunate to have had undertaken extensive post graduate tertiary education in pathophysiology , nutrition, nutritional biochemistry and microbiology. In addition my rigorous four year full time course training as a Naturopath have enabled me successfully apply the second law of Medicine and that is “Physician Heal Thyself” . The first law in case you are wondering is of course “Do no Harm.”
I have the knowledge, skill, equipment, and tools to finish the job !! There is a very good chance that your hard to heal stress fracture can repair itself much more quickly if you allow me to educate you in the following,
- State of the art equipment to enhance fracture healing.
Balanced nutritional diet.
Use of supplements crucial to proper bone healing.
Herbal tinctures to promote blood supply, pain relief and bone healing.
Plastosan Arch supports to act as an external splint if stress fracture is in the foot.
DONT DELAY ANY LONGER! Make an appointment today for a comprehensive assessment and state of the art treatment regime for stress fractures.
Get your Life Back On Track!!