Stress Fracture Treatment

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Photo Credit: Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Are you a runner, athlete or dancer? Do you have kids who are? If anyone in your household is experiencing pain in their ankles or feet, it could be a stress fracture. 

How does it happen?

Not all bone fractures occur as a sudden or obvious injury. A hairline (or stress) fracture, is a thin fracture caused by repeated force to an area.  Osteoporosis also can weaken bones enough for a stress fracture to occur. 

The bones in the legs and feet are more likely to sustain this type of injury: 

  • Heels
  • Ankles
  • Metatarsals (five long bones in the center of the foot)
  • Tibia (larger inner leg bone)
  • Fibula (smaller outer leg bone)

When to See a Doctor

Suspect a stress fracture? Before the injury gets worse, you should see a doctor. Typical treatment can include wearing a walking boot or using crutches for 6-8 weeks while the injury is healing. 


Weight-bearing activity increases the pain, which often develops gradually. Other symptoms may include:
  • Intensified pain with normal daily activities
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Bruising
  • Diminished pain when resting

Doctors can diagnose some stress fractures with a physical examination, but most will require an X-ray.


If you suspect a stress fracture, you can take immediate action to help alleviate the pain.

Just remember the word RICE: 

  • Rest. Avoid weight-bearing activity to whatever extent you can. 
  • Ice. Apply ice immediately after the injury to reduce swelling, followed by cold packs several times per day for 20 minutes each time.
  • Compression. Lightly wrap the area with a soft bandage. 
  • Elevation. As often as possible, rest with your foot higher than your heart.

A medication such as ibuprofen can also help with the pain and inflammation.

Still Hurt? 

If you have tried the above home remedies and you’re still in pain, visit the Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group Express Care Clinic or schedule an appointment with one of our qualified specialists to have your injury evaluated. 

At this clinic, shorter wait times mean you can stop the pain sooner and start healing faster.

Express is a specialty copay which is usually less than urgent care facilities. And the cash pay program is significantly lower than both an urgent care or the emergency room. At the CSOG Express Care Clinic, you have direct access to specialists in bone, muscle and joint injury care. There is also less risk of contact with possible contagious germs found in emergency rooms and urgent care centers.

Contact Information

Phone: 719-622-4550 (Express Care Clinic) or 719-632-7669 (Main Clinic)  

Address: 4110 Briargate Parkway, Suite 145

Hours: Monday thru Friday 9am-7pm. Saturday 10am- 2pm. 

Physicians: Meet the providers here