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Stress fractures are tiny, hairline breaks that can occur in the bones of the foot. They can be caused by overtraining or overuse, improper training habits or surfaces, improper shoes, flatfoot or other foot deformities, and even osteoporosis. These tiny breaks in the bones of the feet can lead to a complete break if left untreated.
Pain, swelling, redness, and possibly bruising can be signs of a stress fracture. The fracture can occur almost anywhere in the foot. X-rays and other studies are used to diagnose the stress fracture. A foot and ankle surgeon should be seen as early as possible to start treatment and possibly shorten the recovery time. Possible treatments include rest and possible immobilization of the foot. In some cases, surgery may be required to stabilize the stress fracture or to repair a stress fracture that has progressed to a fracture.