Stress Fracture Treatment Specialist in Gallatin, TN, and Nashville, TN
Do you have dull aches as a result of illnesses that lead to stress fractures, such as osteoporosis and a lack of bone flexibility? A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone caused by repeated tension from overuse. It might lead to aches, bruises, and swelling. To determine the best course of treatment and avoid further injuries, Dr. Thomas Gautsch MD first evaluates the severity of the stress fracture using a physical examination, x-rays, and a bone scan. If not treated appropriately, it worsens and eventually results in arthritis. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations for you in Gallatin, TN, and Nashville, TN.
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A stress fracture, otherwise known as a hairline fracture, is a small crack in a bone that is caused by repetitive force and stress on a specific area. It is a common injury for athletes who frequently find themselves engaging in high-impact sports and activities. Younger athletes who are still growing and play a sport year round are notably more likely to experience one. They can be very painful, and are most commonly in the foot, with the vast majority occurring in the lower leg. With that being said, however, weight bearing bones such as the shins, hips, and lower back area are not uncommon regions for stress fractures either. When left untreated, a stress fracture can worsen and result in a full fracture of the bone, or even a break. Luckily, people are generally able to tell when a stress fracture has occurred as the region will feel abnormal, and begin to give off a sharp pain when in use. If this occurs, resting the affected area is the best course of action alongside contacting a doctor for medical assistance. From there, they will assess your condition and likely order an imaging scan to ensure that it is in fact a stress fracture causing pain.
Stress fractures are on the simpler side when it comes to spotting and diagnosing. Initially, the region will feel abnormal, then soon give off a sharp, localized pain at the site. In addition, swelling and tenderness of the region surrounding the fracture often occurs alongside a limited range of motion. Another common experience among people experiencing a stress fracture is that the affected region will feel better for a while, until there is weight or strain is put on it. When this occurs, pain begins again and soon disappears after a period of rest. If you are experiencing these symptoms and suspect it is due to a stress fracture, it is best to rest the part of the body to avoid further harm and potential long-term damage and contact a doctor immediately.
Treating a stress fracture is a very simple process in most circumstances. Depending on the location of the stress fracture, you will receive a brace, cast, or boot to immobilize the affected body part. This ensures that the area avoids strain and potentially gets worse. Resting is the next step to recovering from a stress fracture. Avoiding strain on the area at all times will help speed up the recovery process. To manage potential pain, icing the region and taking pain medication such as ibuprofen is not a bad idea. Icing has the added benefit of reducing swelling and is generally a good practice for many injuries. In the most extreme cases of stress fractures, surgery may be needed. These cases are very uncommon, but mostly include situations where the bone does not heal properly or the stress fracture has caused a shift in the position of the bone.
The exact length of time it takes to recover from a stress fracture will vary from person to person and will depend on several factors. The location of the injury, overall health, severity of the injury, and cooperation with treatment all play a part in the recovery time. Out of all stress fractures, they heal in roughly six to eight weeks on average. This however, is not the best estimate as it does not divide up by injury site. Foot bones generally take a shorter amount of time to heal when fully rested compared to other areas of the body. It is recommended to wait 6-8 weeks before resuming regular activities, however, there are instances where people can heal quicker. Hip and lower leg bones range more broadly, with anywhere from 6-12 weeks of rest. It is of the most importance to avoid reinjury as the second time around, recovery times take much longer. If you follow a doctor’s advice, resting as much as possible and avoid aggravating the injury further, you can generally expect to recover in the shorter time frame window.
For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations for you in Gallatin, TN, and Nashville, TN. We serve patients from Gallatin TN, Nashville TN, Graball TN, Castalian Springs TN, LaGuardo TN, Cottontown TN, and surrounding areas.
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