This information will guide you through the next 6 weeks of your rehabilitation. Use the information below to gain a better understanding of your injury and what can be done to maximise your recovery.
A stress fracture is typically an overuse injury. It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture. Stress fractures often are the result of increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too rapidly.
|Pain and Swelling:
|The swelling is often worse at the end of the day and elevating your foot will help. Take pain killers as prescribed.
You may walk on the foot as comfort allows but you may find it easier to walk on your heel in the early stages.The boot you have been given is for your comfort only and is not needed to aid fracture healing but will help to settle your symptoms and should be worn for walking for 6 weeks.
You will see a Foot and Ankle Specialist about 6 weeks after your injury. They will decide if further x-rays are required and advise about ongoing care.
If you have not received an appointment letter within 1 week then contact our team.
Picture of bones in the foot
If you are worried that you are unable to follow this rehabilitation plan, or have any questions, then please phone the Fracture Care Team for advice.
Or, if you are experiencing pain or symptoms, other than at the site of the original injury or surrounding area, please get in touch using the telephone or e-mail details at the top of this letter.
What to expect
Wear the boot when you are walking.
If issued use the crutches to take some of the weight off your foot.
It is ok to take the boot off at night and when resting at home.
Start your exercises straight away to maintain and improve your movement.
X Try to stop using the boot and to walk without crutches.
Start around your house first, then try outside.
You may want to wear the boot if you go on a longer walk.
Continue your exercises to regain the flexibility of your foot.
Your injury is healed. You may have mild symptoms for 3-6 months.
You can begin to resume normal, day-to-day activities but be guided by any pain you experience.
X Heavy tasks or long walks may still cause some discomfort and swelling.
Advice for a new injury
Cold packs: A cold pack (ice pack or frozen peas wrapped in a damp towel) can provide short term pain relief. Apply this to the sore area for up to 15 minutes, every few hours ensuring the ice is never in direct contact with the skin.
Rest and Elevation: Try to rest the foot for the first 24-72 hours to allow the early stage of healing to begin. Raise your ankle above the level of your hips to reduce swelling. You can use pillows or a stool to keep your foot up
Early movement and exercise: Early movement of the ankle and foot is important to promote circulation and reduce the risk of developing a DVT (blood clot). Follow the exercises below without causing too much pain. This will ensure your ankle and foot do not become too stiff. These exercises will help the healing process.
Early weight bearing (putting weight through your injured foot) helps increase the speed of healing. Try to walk as normally as possible as this will help with your recovery.
Medical evidence suggests that smoking prolongs fracture healing time. In extreme cases it can stop healing altogether. It is important that you consider this information with relation to your recent injury. Stopping smoking during the healing phase of your fracture will help ensure optimal recovery from this injury.
For advice on smoking cessation and local support available, please refer to the following website: http://smokefree.nhs.uk or discuss this with your GP.
Diabetic patients: If you are diabetic please contact us to discuss your boot. This is particularly important if you have problems with your skin. We can provide you with a specialist diabetic boot if required.
Footwear for your uninjured foot: We would recommend choosing a supportive shoe or trainer with a firm sole for your uninjured foot. You will notice that the boot you have been given has a thicker sole, by matching this height on the uninjured side you will reduce any stress on your other joints.
Initial exercises to do 3-4 times a day
Ankle and foot range of movement exercises. Repeat these 10 times each.