Stress Fracture Foot Surgery

The leg and foot are commonly affected by the minute cracks called stress fractures, of which there are two types. Stress fractures caused by overuse, and those caused by diseases which weaken the bones. For the active, the cause is usually repetitive impact on the bones, and for the over 509s, and women in particular, it is due to osteopenia and osteoporosis. In many cases stress fractures can be dealt with without any need for an operation however, in some cases surgery becomes the best way to make sure the bones heal effectively.

Surgery is necessary when the bones that are affected are not able to join back together properly. Some bones in the feet – such as the 5th metatarsal – often have a difficult time bonding after a break or fracture, hence the need for surgical intervention. The aim of an operation in such a case would be to correct and align the bones properly, as well as to promote the proper flow of blood to the affected area. Usually the damaged tissue will be repaired and the bones will be screwed into place to promote healing.


Aside from ensuring that healing actually takes place, another major advantage of having stress fracture surgery is to promote faster healing. The operation in itself as well as the after care (rest, medication, and splint) will have a positive effect on the injured area thus promoting the healing process. There is not standard recovery time for this kind of surgery – in most cases it will be determined by x-rays that are taken after the procedure and how effective the procedure proved to be.

Surgery is normally the last resort for stress fracture treatment, and will be recommended by a physician following examination and x-rays. Surgery is avoided if it is at all possible, as while usually successful there is always an associated risk of surgery.

Post surgery care is an important aspect of the healing process, and it is advisable for patients to follow the laid out regime for rest, prescribed medicine and protective splints. Studies have shown that adherence to advice from medical practitioners will greatly increase the recovery time, and if weight bearing activity is commenced too soon it is possible that the fracture might reappear.

The advantage of this form of surgery is that it has a high percentage of success and patients can be expected to make a full recovery in a rapid time frame after undergoing this medical procedure. Although not guaranteed to be successful, stress fracture surgery can go a long way towards easing the pain, and to ensure that the bones heal correctly to prevent any further fractures occurring. For athletes it is often the best course of action to ensure proper healing and to make sure that a quick return to training can be achieved. Non surgical treatment of stress fractures can involve a relatively long recovery, with healing time of stress fractures discussed further on this page.