Health Library

Sports and Fractures

To search through our library of topics, please make a selection below. Remember, the information in this library does not substitute for the advice provided by your healthcare team. Always consult your physician for more information.

Sports and Fractures

Information about sports and fractures:

Fractures are breaks in the bone that are often caused by a blow or a fall. A fracture may be classified as a simple fracture (a thin fracture that may not run through the entire bone), or a compound fracture, in which the broken bone protrudes through the skin. Most fractures occur in the arms and legs. Symptoms may include tenderness over the bone, swelling of the affected area, deformity of the limb, and increased pain upon movement.

What are stress fractures?

Anatomy of the foot
Click Image to Enlarge

Stress fractures are weak spots or small cracks in the bone caused by continuous overuse. Stress fractures often occur in the foot after training for basketball, running, and other sports. The bones in the midfoot (metatarsals) in runners are especially vulnerable to stress fractures.

What are the symptoms of a foot stress fracture?

A stress fracture may not cause swelling. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • pain in the front of the foot, often after long or intense bouts of exercise
  • pain that disappears after exercise, then returns when exercise is continued

The symptoms of stress fractures may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is a stress fracture diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a stress fracture usually is confirmed with a complete medical history and a physical examination. X-rays often cannot detect stress fractures at first because they are so fine. Once calluses form around the fracture, an x-ray can confirm a stress fracture. Sometimes, a bone scan is performed to detect a stress fracture.

Treatment for a stress fracture:

Specific treatment for a stress fracture will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the injury
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies
  • expectation for the course of the injury
  • your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • rest
  • shock-absorbing shoes to use during exercise
  • running on soft surfaces, such as grass

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Orthopaedic Surgery

Connect with MLH

New Appointments
1.866.CALL.MLH

 Well Ahead Newsletter


Connect With MLH

Copyright 2014 Main Line Health

Printed from: www.mainlinehealth.org/diw/content.asp?PageID=P00944

The information provided in this Web site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. See additional Terms of Use at www.mainlinehealth.org/terms. For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.