Home
Search in�� ��for��
 
Resources
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
H2U
Birthing Center Tours
Clinics
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Medications
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Nondiscrimination
Privacy Notice



Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

March Stress Fracture

(Stress Fracture, March; Stress Fracture of Metatarsal Bone; Fatigue Fracture)

 

Definition

A march stress fracture is a small break in a metatarsal bone of the foot that occurs without a major traumatic episode. There are 5 metatarsal bones in each foot. They are located in the area between the toes and the ankle. They were called march fractures because they were first seen in military recruits because of excess marching. These fractures still occur in that group.

March Stress Fracture

Stress fracture foot

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

 

Causes    TOP

A march stress fracture is an overuse injury caused by repetitive stress to the foot.

 

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that may increase the chance of getting a march stress fracture include:

  • Participation in high foot impact sports, such as:
    • Running
    • Basketball
    • Dancing
    • Jumping events in track
  • Military service
  • Feet with high arches
  • Use of poor or improper footwear
  • Osteoporosis
  • Female runners with amenorrhea (absent menstruation), osteoporosis, or an eating disorder
 

Symptoms    TOP

A march stress fracture may cause pain in the middle or front of the foot. There may be swelling. The foot will feel better when resting and feel worse with activity.

 

Diagnosis    TOP

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist. An orthopedist focuses on bones. A sports medicine physician works on sports-related injuries.

Imaging tests evaluate the bones in your foot and surrounding structures. These may include:

 

Treatment    TOP

Stress fractures are treated with rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The foot will need rest for 3-6 weeks. Crutches may be needed to avoid bearing weight on the foot. Sometimes a brace or cast is used for a short time to aid healing.

 

Prevention    TOP

To help reduce your chance of a march stress fracture, take the following steps:

  • Wear shock-absorbing insoles when running or during other high-impact exercise.
  • When starting a new sport or increasing your workout, do so gradually.
  • Choose footwear that takes into account the specific sport and your type of foot.
RESOURCES:

American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
http://www.aapsm.org

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org

When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://whenithurtstomove.org

REFERENCES:

Fractures (broken bones). Ortho Info—American Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 2012. Accessed August 30, 2017.

Metatarsal stress fractures. Sports injury website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed August 30, 2017.

Stress fracture. Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 2014. Accessed August 30, 2017.

What is a stress fracture and how should it be treated? American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed August 30, 2017.

4/24/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114482/Decision-rules-for-imaging-of-ankle-and-foot-injuries : Wise JN, Weissman BN, et al. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria for chronic foot pain. Available at: https://acsearch.acr.org/docs/69424/Narrative. Updated 2013. Accessed August 18, 2014.



Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 4/24/2014

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers


Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000