A Metatarsal Stress Fracture is a common injury impacting athletes and is caused by an incomplete crack in one of the metatarsal bones of the forefoot.
Weight bearing activity places weight through the metatarsal bones. When the pulling forces placed on these bones through the attached muscles becomes excessive, damage to the bones can gradually occur or can be caused by a sudden force that can result in a Metatarsal Stress Fracture. The second metatarsal (closest to the big toe) is most often impacted, as this is the bone that absorbs the most pressure during movement.
Metatarsal Stress Fractures are often caused by contact sports, and can be experienced by athletes, dancers and runners. With appropriate care management, most people recover fully from a fracture of this type within three to nine months.
The most common causes of this condition are:
A person with a Metatarsal Stress Fracture will often experience a progressive pain in the front foot that gets worse when undergoing activities which bear weight on the foot such as walking and running. Swelling and tenderness around the area is often also experienced, with a sharp pain felt when pressure is applied to the metatarsal.
Our podiatrists can diagnose a Metatarsal Stress Fracture through an examination of the area along with a bone scan that will provide a precise image of the fracture and can confirm the injury in very early stages. X-rays may be recommended for severe cases or at a later stage of the injury. MRI scanning is occasionally used.
People with Metatarsal Stress Fractures must ensure they rest the area as much as possible. Your podiatrist will guide you to the degree of rest required, depending on the nature and severity of your fracture.
Below is a selection of other treatments Dan Everson Podiatry recommends for this condition:
Dan Everson Podiatry recommends the following activities to help prevent Metatarsal Stress Fractures.