During the colder winter months, some hospitals report up to a 500% increase in emergency room visits due to injuries from falls and slips. Dr. Joel Segalman, Dr. Stephen Lazaroff, and Dr. Brittany Ciaramello at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC in New Haven County and Fairfield County find that stress fractures are one of the more common winter-related injuries.
In many cases, stress fractures are often disregarded because people don’t make the connection between a recent accident or activity and sudden foot pain. Stress fractures often occur in a wide variety of seemingly benign situations.
Athletes are often afflicted, as recurring weight-bearing activities, such as gymnastics, running, and other sports, are typically sources of stress on the foot.
However, during the winter months, slippery walking environments and cold-weather sports like snowboarding, sledding, and ice skating are primary causes of foot-related injuries. Even standing on a hard floor for too long can result in a stress fracture.
Following a fall or a potentially stressful activity, it's important to be mindful of the signs of a stress fracture and seek appropriate care. Swelling, redness, bruising, and pain can all be signs of a stress fracture. The pain and symptoms felt on the top of the foot typically come about quickly and then diminish when the activity is stopped.
While the foot may feel better with rest, the pain often returns when the activity restarts. And at that point, people with stress fractures may feel an aching, deep pain that's extremely troublesome.
For those people who still have symptoms after resting, using anti-inflammatory medications, and icing the foot at home, it's important to see a podiatrist. Ankle and foot surgeons can quickly identify stress fractures during a physical examination and, if medically indicated, through x-rays.
Starting treatment as quickly as possible is crucial and may shorten your recovery time. If swiftly identified, the treatment can take four to six weeks. You need to rest the foot and possibly even wear a cast boot or surgical shoe throughout this time. A smaller number of patients may require surgery to stabilize the stress fracture.
Stress fractures can recur in some people, particularly among fragile bones or a specific foot shape. Regardless of whether it's a first-time occurrence or a reappearance, proper treatment of a stress fracture is crucial, and that includes giving your foot the rest it needs.
If you think you may have experienced a stress fracture, don’t hesitate to contact the office of Dr. Joel Segalman, Dr. Stephen Lazaroff, and Dr. Brittany Ciaramello at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC in New Haven County and Fairfield to schedule an appointment. You can reach our Waterbury office at (203) 755-0489 or our Newtown office at (203) 270-6724.