Foot stress fractures

Foot stress fractures usually develop due to prolonged repeated loads on the legs. Individuals who run long distances are prone to develop this type of injury. It is important to note that stress fractures among athletes mainly occur in the lower leg and foot.

Indications of foot stress fractures

There are various types of foot stress fractures but the generalized symptoms include:

  • Pain or aching sensation of the affected bone that is aggravated by activity and settles with rest
  • Localized tenderness over the site of the fracture
    Foot stress fractures

    Pain or aching sensation of the affected bone that is aggravated by activity and settles with rest.


If an individual is suspected with a stress fracture on the foot, he/she must consult a doctor for advice. In most cases, the treatment involves rest for 6-8 weeks and even using crutches if needed.

Medical care

An X-ray of the bone might not reveal any indication of a fracture until it has already started to heal, usually 2-3 weeks after. Once foot stress fractures are suspected, the individual should rest completely for 6-8 weeks along with the use of crutches.

When the individual resumes running, the muscles in the lower legs should be properly stretched and supple. Some individuals who resume running might complain of pain. The reason for this is that they allowed the muscles to become hard and tight especially in the lower leg.

In most cases of foot stress fractures, it involves the 2nd or 3rd metatarsal bones. If a stress fracture occurs at the base of the 5th metatarsal, it is called as Jones fracture and requires fixation via surgery.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on foot stress fractures is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to care for fractures, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.