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What is a metatarsal stress fracture?


A metatarsal stress fracture is a small crack or break in one of the metatarsal bones in the foot. The metatarsal bones are the long bones that connect the toes to the ankle and are responsible for supporting the weight of the body when standing and walking. Stress fractures occur when the bone is subjected to repetitive stress or excessive force, such as when running or jumping on hard surfaces.

Symptoms of a metatarsal stress fracture include pain and tenderness in the foot, swelling, and difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. The pain may be worse when the affected foot is bearing weight or when the toes are flexed.

A podiatrist can diagnose a metatarsal stress fracture by examining the foot and asking about the patient's symptoms and activities. The podiatrist may also order an X-ray or other imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for a metatarsal stress fracture typically includes rest, ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation and pain. The patient may need to wear a boot or a cast to protect the foot and allow it to heal. In some cases, the podiatrist may recommend physical therapy or other treatments to help the patient recover from the stress fracture. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged bone.

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