Since stress fractures most often occur as a result of overuse, the first treatment needs to include stopping the activity that brought on this condition. Simply put…a period of rest is needed. Taking time away from the activity may be needed for 6 to 8 weeks. Usually exercise can continue, but, picking a “LOW-impact” form of exercise such as swimming, elliptical trainer, or exercise bike is recommended.
Additional measures such as shoewear modification may be prescribed. A stiff shoe insert or bootwalker could be part of the treatment. And in certain cases, your doctor my recommend a cast or crutches. CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTION IS OFTEN PRESCRIBED.
Most stress fractures will heal with the conservative measures outlined above, however, there are instances when surgery is needed. The most common situation that requires surgery is when the bone fails to heal, this may be called a nonunion. Surgery would usually include placing screws to secure the bone. Sometimes this surgery also includes placing “fresh” bone into the area that is slow to heal…this is called bone grafting.