Tips for Treating a Metatarsal Stress Fracture

You have a couple of months to prepare for the Silicon Labs Sunshine Run on May 3, but we want you to be careful while training. If you jump into your running routine with “too much, too soon” effort, you may end up with an injury like a metatarsal stress fracture. When you are careful, though, you can slowly ramp up your mileage and then participate in either the 5 or 10K race without an issue.

Stress fractures are common injuries that are developed over time due to repetitive stress or pressure, often from physical activities like running or jumping. These can be rather common for runners, athletes, and military personnel who march for long distances at a time. A key symptom to note is pain that appears during an activity, but goes away with rest. The level of pain may start out low, but will progressively increase in time.

When you have a metatarsal stress fracture, it is essential to begin treating it with rest. This means taking a break from whatever activity may have caused the fracture or tends to aggravate it. Always consult with our office first, but switching to a low-impact activity like swimming might be an option for you to maintain your conditioning and physical health. Staying away from high-impact activity will give your body a chance to initiate the natural healing process and prevent further damage to the bone.

In addition to rest, ice and elevation can keep the levels of pain and swelling down to a minimum. When using cold therapy, be sure to wrap the ice in a thin towel before applying to the injured area. Putting ice directly on your skin can cause damage to the tissue. Elevating the fractured foot on a couple of pillows while you lie on the couch or your bed will help promote healing as well.

The most important part of treating a metatarsal stress fracture is coming in to see the podiatric experts at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists. We will accurately diagnose your injury and determine the extent of the fracture. Additionally, we can ensure that there is no other damage in the area. Contact our Austin, TX office by calling (512) 328-8900 or use our convenient online form. Also, if you haven’t already connected with us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or Twitter, be sure to do so today for more tips and news!

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Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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