A runner deals with aches and pains all the time. Often the pain isn’t a sign of a significant problem. Other types of pain can be worrisome and could suggest that she has a stress fracture. How can you know if it is a big deal? And what can you do about it? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I offer my thoughts on the evaluation of a possible stress fracture in the foot in joggers and runners.

Becky asks:
I am pretty sure I have a stress fracture in my heel. The podiatrist said I do not need X-ray. She would be able to tell because when she pressed there, I would have pain. I ran a 1/2 marathon, full marathon and a 50k last month. When I run I get a sharp pain on the outer side of my foot, below my ankle bone. Any suggestions?

Stress fractures are caused by too much stress to a particular bone without enough time to heal. The microscopic stresses add up, especially as the runner increases training. If she continues to push through pain, a stress fracture can develop.

An orthopaedic surgeon can diagnose some stress fractures by history and physical exam with additional x-rays. Others might require an MRI. In this video, I discuss the evaluation of foot pain and possible stress fracture in the foot in runners and when you might consider getting your pain evaluated by a doctor.

Also read:
5 serious stress fractures of the foot and ankle
Stress fractures: Frequently asked questions

X-ray looking for stress fracture of the foot

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