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Why Foot Bones Crack

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

When something solid cracks, there’s always a reason behind it. From the city roads to a statue in the sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art, something has to pressure the object and cause the crack. It could be as simple as a sudden temperature change or damage from a person, but it isn’t spontaneous. The same is true of a stress fracture in your foot – there is always a cause.


A stress fracture is a thin crack in a weight-bearing bone. Unlike other fractures, however, this isn’t from a sudden accident that pushes the foot past the breaking point. Rather, this injury is a problem with overuse and excessive pressure on the bones for an extended period of time. If bones don’t have enough time to rest and recover when they’re stressed, the hard tissue suffers. The strain slowly damages the bone, causing additional cracking the longer it goes untreated.


But what causes the crack-inducing strain in the first place? There are many different potential causes of stress fractures. Anything that overworks the lower limbs could play a role in the injury. Preexisting conditions could be involved as well. Here are a few possible culprits for your stress fracture:

  1. Weak bones – Naturally thin bones or hard tissue that’s been damaged by conditions like osteoporosis is significantly more susceptible to cracking under pressure.

  2. Insufficient conditioning – Your feet have to be conditioned to handle the strain of sports and other hard impact activities. When they aren’t conditioned well, the strain can cause cracks.

  3. Poor biomechanics or technique – If you have biomechanical issues that add stress to your lower limbs, or your feet strike the ground incorrectly, the pressure can damage your bones.

  4. A sudden change in training – Suddenly starting something new, increasing your intensity, or even altering the surface you work on can stress your foot bones.

  5. Bad equipment – Worn out shoes don’t help your feet absorb shock correctly, thereby overworking your skeleton.

Knowing the causes of stress fractures can potentially help you avoid the issue in the future, particularly if you have a high risk for the problem. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC in Metairie, LA, can help you take any steps necessary to prevent cracks in your foot bones, and even deal with ones that may already be there. Call our office today at (504) 708-4810 for an appointment.


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