How Is a Stress Fracture Different from a Regular Fracture?

While exercising often is excellent for maintaining good health, it can be hard on certain bones and joints in the body. Certain types of physical activities, especially contact sports, running and high-intensity workouts, can strain joints excessively and carry inherent risks for impacts that may result in fractures.

These activities can raise the likelihood of damaging your bones. Suffering from a fracture can make it challenging to exercise or simply perform your daily tasks of living or employment, especially if you have a physically demanding job.

A fracture is a crack in the bone that can be formed by continual stress to the bone (stress fracture) or from a sudden trauma on the bone (regular fracture). There is a truly diverse array of fracture types. Some may lead to complete loss of function of the injured limbs while others may be nearly imperceptible most of the time.

Symptoms of Fractures

A regular bone fracture is ordinarily easy to diagnose. Someone with a bone fracture might experience pain and swelling, and the limb may be stuck at an awkward angle. Putting weight on a bone fracture is extremely painful, and the person experiencing the bone fracture might have difficulty moving the limb.

A bone fracture requires medical attention in order to heal properly.

What Is a Regular Fracture?

While there are several types of fractures, all fractures are the result of a break in the bone. A regular bone fracture occurs when the bone experiences some kind of traumatic injury that results in a break in the bone. This type of injury is very common. Millions of people in the U.S. suffer some kind of fracture annually with causes ranging from car accidents and sports to hard falls and workplace injuries.

In the case of a regular fracture, the bone can break off completely, and there might be several breaks along the same bone. Severe fractures might be visible through the skin (an open fracture).

What is a Stress Fracture?

Stress fractures are tiny cracks that form in the bone from repetitive stresses or added weight on the bone. Running or repeatedly jumping at full force on asphalt or carrying a heavy bag and walking for miles on end are examples of activities that may contribute to stress fractures. This type of fracture is most common among athletes and runners.

Normally, the bone is able to remodel slowly to meet the demands of physical activity. Someone who does martial arts might have remodeled bones in areas where they’ve experienced frequent impacts. This remodeling strengthens the bones in the areas affected.

Stress fractures occur when the repetitive impact occurs too often, too quickly and at too high of a force for the bone to remodel fully. These fractures are tiny and can even develop from normal use if the bone has been weakened by a medical condition. Stress fractures occur most often in the weight-bearing bones of the body, like the feet.

Symptoms of Stress Fractures

Pain from a stress fracture might seem minimal at first but can worsen over time. The pain is usually focused around the impacted area and might include swelling. If the pain persists even at night during rest, please seek medical attention.

Diagnosis for a fracture might begin with the doctor inquiring about the circumstances that led to the development of the fracture. After collecting information on the injury, they will likely proceed with the examination.

After asking about your lifestyle, work and other activities that may have contributed to an injury your orthopedist or doctor will perform a physical examination of the injury. They may also utilize other diagnostic tools like an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan of the injured area.

Imaging scans can give the doctor more clarity on the type of fracture and where exactly it is located in the body. This will give them a better idea of how to treat the injury.

Schedule an Appointment with Orthopedic Doctors in Roseburg

A fracture is unpleasant and can severely limit your ability to live life to the fullest. Our highly qualified team at Centennial Orthopedic and Podiatry clinic is equipped to help you recover after a fracture and get you back on your feet.

Contact our doctors in Roseburg, Oregon at 541.229.2663 or read more about the treatments we offer here.