Social Question

Fly's avatar

So, let's say that I'm about 95% sure that I have a stress fracture on the top of my foot. What should I do about it?

Asked by Fly (8682 points ) June 12th, 2012

Just to be clear, I’m not asking if I have a stress fracture, but what to do about it assuming that I do have one. I know asking a question on the internet cannot compare to getting an in-person evaluation from a doctor, but it would be very difficult for me to get in to see a doctor at this moment in time, since I have to leave for work by 6:30 AM and don’t return until 9:00 PM.

I have looked up information on stress fractures, and the descriptions and pictures are really spot on. I know the general recommendation is to stop the strenuous activity to let the wound heal, but the problem is that this is not really possible in my case because it’s part of my job. (I just started an internship in D.C. this week, so I know it was caused by the stress of of running around the city, catching the Metro, etc.)

So, aside from the obvious “stop the activity,” what can I do to help it heal? If it is 100% necessary that I see a doctor, for how long is it safe to continue walking on the wound before I can get an appointment? Any information and advice is greatly appreciated!

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36 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Tape it and use crutches to take most of the weight off it. When I was just a couple of years older than you, I used crutches for my last two months of college, including finishing a thesis and taking oral exams and commuting from an apartment to the campus in a VW Beetle that my friend drove.

Rarebear's avatar

Stop the activity and see a doctor. Sorry.

nikipedia's avatar

Where is the fracture?

Fly's avatar

@nikipedia Right about where the arrow is in this picture.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, you need to stop activity as much as possible and see a doctor as soon as possible. You are young, and like the rest of us, you are allotted two feet; to use for your entire life; you need to take care of them. They carry your entire weight and you will need them as long as you live.

Listen to @Rarebear, he is an actual doctor, an M.D.; he knows what he’s talking about. Not taking care of this thing properly now could cause you problems with your foot that could require surgical intervention at some point or at least cause you problems with your foot for the rest of your life. You don’t want that, do you?

nikipedia's avatar

Well, then I second @Rarebear and third @lillycoyote‘s seconding of @Rarebear.

BUT….I had all the symptoms of a stress fracture in a similar region and it turned out to just be tendinitis. Which is irrelevant, because the treatment is the same.

Judi's avatar

My friend has a broken ankle and got one of these. If you can get to a medical supply on your lunch break they might have something like it.

Fly's avatar

I will try to get to a doctor over the weekend but in the meantime I have to keep working on it. I will be more careful when I walk and wrap it with an Ace bandage, if that will help. Just to give everyone an idea, it’s a raised bump that looks similar to this that is slightly sore but not very painful, and feels bruised/swollen.

zensky's avatar

Tell mom @auggie?

lillycoyote's avatar

@Judi If @Fly can get herself to a medical supply store and pick up a $720 RollerAid then she should certainly be able to get herself to a doctor! And I think that would probably be wiser.

Fly's avatar

@zensky Of course I already told her! She just doesn’t know much about this kind of thing.

zensky's avatar

But she can kiss the booboo and take you to the Doctor. Now go.

lillycoyote's avatar

And, @Fly, @zensky is absolutely right! Even if, and when, you’re practically, or even, all grown up, this is what Moms/Mommies are for!

Fly's avatar

@lillycoyote @zensky Unfortunately, doesn’t work so well when she lives 45 minutes away. I’ll have to stick to phone kisses for now. ;)

Judi's avatar

@lillycoyote , maybe they could rent it. I know they rent out wheel chairs.

zensky's avatar

Wait: I’ll beam you over @Fly

@Lilyput: I am always right.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Judi That might work. @Fly really does need to take the weight and activity off her foot, if she has a fracture.

zensky's avatar

No more rhymes and I mean it!

Laughter is the best medicine. Feel well babes.

jrpowell's avatar

I have had something that was pretty much exactly like the image you posted. 25+ years of skateboarding will give you every weird thing that can happen to a knee, ankle, foot.

I saw a doctor about it when that happened to me and they pretty much said stay off it. Being a dumb kid I didn’t and it kept getting worse.

If you keep putting weight on it you are kinda screwed. Take a week off while it heals or suffer for months. Your choice.

And I know you just started your internship so it sucks to have to have to take a time-out. Maybe they can put on the phone until it heals.

lillycoyote's avatar

@johnpowell ROTFLMAO! For some reason, tonight, your daisy avatar made me think @gailcalled, I really don’t know why and I was imagining @gailcalled‘s 25 years of skateboarding injuries and I just couldn’t stop laughing. Sorry @gailcalled and sorry @johnpowell; just a slip of the synapses somewhere along the line.

augustlan's avatar

Since I’m the mom and the mod, I think I’m going to move this to Social. @Fly, if you want it back in General, tell me tomorrow.

How is a stress fracture diagnosed? Can she just pop in to an urgent care place and have an x-ray?

Judi's avatar

She probably could and if she has insurance it might even cover the Knee walker. Maybe not the fancy $700 one but they do make cheaper ones if you look at the amazon link @lillycoyote provided and see the alternative options listed below the fancy featured one.

augustlan's avatar

@Judi To get to her job, she has to take a commuter train, then two subway trains (and then walk a bit). I’m thinking the knee walker thingy would be pretty hard to get on and off the trains. :(

Judi's avatar

Not if they are ADA compliant. I’m from the west where we love our cars. Can wheelchairs get on the subway?
never mind. I just looked it up and it looks like the elevators are often out of service.

lillycoyote's avatar

Poor @augustlan! Not only does her dear little @Fly possibly have a stress fracture in her foot, but Auggie has to mod her and move this over to social! A mother’s troubles never end!

augustlan's avatar

@Judi I think the subway is compliant, but not the commuter train. Not positive on that, though.

@lillycoyote Hey now… I only had to move it because of some of the answers. :p

Rarebear's avatar

Generally it’s diagnosed by x-ray, but sometimes it’s just clinical exam. Stress fractures sometimes don’t show up by x-ray.

augustlan's avatar

Poor girl. This is the worst possible time for this to happen. If the swelling/bump goes down tomorrow, would you still advise a doctor’s visit? I doubt that it will go down, but you never know.

tedd's avatar

How in the heck did you get a stress fracture there?

Stress fractures typically occur in your long bones.

Rarebear's avatar

@tedd Pretty common in the feet, actually.
@Fly The other thing I was thinking if you absolutely have to walk on it is go to REI or some other store that has specialized orthotics. I like “Superfeet” but there are other brands. That might help.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I’d rather see a doctor for tendonitis and find out it is not a stress frature

Fly's avatar

Update: I thought you’d all be relieved to know that I’m going to the podiatrist tomorrow!

Judi's avatar

Let us know what they say!

Fly's avatar

Good news: It’s not a fracture and I’m good to walk on it!
Bad news: It’s some kind of cyst and I have to wear some kind of (ugly) compression ankle brace thing until it goes away. But at least I can still work! I’ll just wear pants for a while… ;)

Judi's avatar

Yeah for no break! Boo for ugly brace.

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