What is a fracture?
Fracture is defined as a break in the continuity of a bone and could result from many different causes. Although some fractures will be associated with a displacement of the bone fragments, certain other fractures would not show much of a deviation at all. In whatever form, the most likely reason for a fracture to take place would be the unbearable force that is exerted to a particular location of the bone either as an acute event or else as a chronic event. Such susceptibility towards a fracture could be more in certain groups of people among which the bones have grown weak or else is yet to reach the full maturity.
What is a ‘stress fracture’?
When a fracture takes place because of the bones ability to tolerate a stressful force has been overtaken, such fractures are labeled as a stress fracture. This can take place as an acute event or else as a process taking a considerable period of time. Thus, stress fractures are common among athletes in whom the bones of the lower limb and the foot are increasingly at risk of being subjected to repetitive extreme stressors as well as acute stressors that overwhelm the bone strength. In most instances, a stress fracture would not be showing any displacement and in certain instances even x-ray would not reveal a thin stress fracture. Therefore, at times, these fractures are also referred to as ‘hair line’ fractures as well.
What other factors can contribute towards a ‘stress fracture’?
Apart from the stressors, hormones, nutrition of a person as well as the maturity of the bone can also play a big part in one’s probability of developing a stress fracture. Apart from these, improper techniques, and devices such as footwear as well as too sudden introduction into strenuous activities can all contribute towards a possibility of these fractures.
What are the treatment strategies for these fractures?
In most instances, adequate amount of rest would be the only necessity in relieving a stress fracture and this should include the avoidance of the activity which might have caused a repetitive type of stress fracture.
At times, if there is a significant fracture and the clinicians decide immobilization would be a better option, one may need to wear a cast for a while to improve the healing and to prevent any displacement.
Use of crutches can also be recommended if bearing weight on the foot or the leg is a problem and it gives rise to pain.
In rare instances, if there is an apparent displacement and continuous discomfort, one may need to undergo surgical correction of the fracture site as well.
Apart from these, one may make use of ice to relieve any discomfort and wear shoes which fits appropriately to avoid further injuries from taking place.