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At Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, several of our orthopedic surgeons specialize in fracture care. The Slocum Center has been performing orthopedic surgery, such as fracture repair, for more than four decades. That means your procedure will be performed by a team whose experience is virtually unmatched in Eugene, the surrounding areas of Oregon, and throughout the Northwest.

Overuse can cause tiny cracks in bones. These may be microscopic fractures or fractures that go all the way through the involved bone.

Cause

Various activities can lead to stress fractures. People who participate in high-impact sports or who move from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one may experience stress factures. Stress fractures can be seen in runners who increase their training too rapidly, change the running surface, or change their style of running shoe.

Stress fractures that don't heal properly can develop into complete breaks of the bone and can become a chronic problem.

Prevention

Prevention is critical:

  • Maintain a healthy diet, including calcium-rich foods to help build bone strength.
  • Avoid wearing old or worn running shoes.
  • Alternate exercise activities. This can be done with cross-training. Participate in running, swimming, and bike riding.
  • Increase time, speed, and distance for any new sports activity. Try for a weekly increase of 10 percent gradually.
  • Stop the activity if pain or swelling returns. Rest for a few days. If pain continues, see a doctor.

Treatment

Most stress fractures will heal by reducing the activity level and wearing protective shoes for two to four weeks. The physician may recommend a stiff-soled shoe, a wooden-soled sandal, or a removable short leg fracture brace shoe. It's important to put less stress on the foot and leg. Swimming and bicycle riding are good alternative activities.

Some stress fractures take up to eight weeks to heal. The physician may apply a cast to the affected foot or recommend the use of crutches until the bone heals. In some cases, surgery may be required.

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