Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rachel N. Verville
September 10, 2018
A stress fracture in your foot, ankle or shins is nothing that Little Elm residents should take lightly. If left untreated, stress fractures can increase your pain and even turn into full fractures of the bone if you don’t modify your activities, especially for athletes like runners who put a lot of additional pressure on their lower extremities by the repetitive pounding motion of running. If you suspect that you have a stress fracture, it’s always better to be on the safe side and visit Dr. Verville at RNV Podiatry for a professional diagnosis.
What to Do if You Suspect You Have a Stress Fracture
The first thing you need to do if you suspect you have a stress fracture is make an appointment with Dr. Verville at RNV Podiatry to be evaluated. Between the time that you are injured, and when Dr. Verville sees you, you need to follow what the medical community has dubbed the “RICE” strategy:
If you’re a runner or another type of athlete, you need to temporarily suspend your athletic activities until a stress fracture can be ruled out. This is crucial, as continuing with athletic activities while you have a stress fracture can lead to a full bone break. Other patients should also heed the advice of resting by not walking long distances, not putting too much pressure on their affect foot, ankle or lower leg, and wearing a very supportive shoe in those rare cases when you do need to put pressure on your foot (such as when you’re walking into your appointment with Dr. Verville).
As soon as you realize you have an injury, you want to begin icing it. Use a towel wrapped around a bag of ice or cold pack so that you don’t directly place ice on your skin. Little Elm patients will need to ice their affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day to keep swelling to a minimum.
Preventing swelling is a priority when you’re initially treating a suspected stress fracture, and recovering from it more quickly. Wrap the injured area with a bandage to help keep swelling down.
Blood flow to the injured area is so important. To help promote healing of your suspected stress fracture, podiatry patients are advised to keep their foot, ankle or shin elevated above their heart. Lying down and using a series of soft pillows to keep the lower leg elevated should do the trick.
What to Do if You’ve Been Diagnosed with a Stress Fracture
Little Elm podiatry patients should know that all stress fractures are different. Some are milder, and some are more severe. Your exact instructions and treatment plan will vary depending on the severity of your stress fracture. However, in general, you should:
- Modify Your Activities
It can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks for a stress fracture to heal. This can be devastating news to active Little Elm residents, who can’t imagine spending that much time away from their chosen sport. But, following these instructions are so important to prevent further injury and to promote a full, healthy recovery.
- Wear Pneumatic Walking Boot
As you’re recovering from your stress fracture over a month and a half to two months, your choice of footwear is extremely important. Dr. Verville will most likely prescribe a pneumatic walking boot to wear during your recovery.
Call RNV Podiatry Immediately if You Suspect You Have a Stress Fracture
Remember, an untreated stress fracture will most likely only get worse without treatment. If you believe you have a stress fracture, conatct our office in the Little Elm area immediately to schedule an appointment at (214) 385-8822.