Football season is starting up again and if there is anything the athletes know about, it’s how uncomfortable it is to get a stress fracture. If you have this injury, you need to practice good injury recovery habits so that you don’t suffer further complications or lasting damage.

A stress fracture is an overuse injury that creates a crack in the bone. It isn’t quite a complete fracture, but it should be treated as such. This happens when your muscles become overworked and your bones begin to sustain the impact of stress. If you are physically active, and you begin to feel pain that increases with activity and diminishes with rest, you may have this injury. Other signs to look out for include swelling in and around the ankle or heel, tenderness to the touch, and bruising around these areas.

It isn’t too difficult to successfully treat a stress fracture, but it does require some patience on your part. If you believe you have a crack in one of your bones, it’s crucial to stop the activity that is causing your pain. Continuing to push through the pain can only cause greater damage in the long run.

During this time you can try to alleviate your symptoms by using ice to reduce inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to minimize your pain. There are special shoes you can wear to protect your feet while you heal. You may even need a cast to immobilize your foot until the fracture has healed. In some severe cases surgery may be necessary. The most successful type of surgery is called internal fixation and involves holding bone in place with pins or fasteners.

If you have more questions or concerns about treating a broken bone, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in our Haverhill, MA office. Take the time to rest your feet, so when you have recovered you can lace up those cleats and get back in the game.