The initial treatment for a stress fracture is to elevate the extremity and rest while the bone heals itself. Ice the affected area for 24 to 48 hours and reduce your activity. For pain, you may use NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin. Depending on which bone is involved, your doctor may recommend a splint or cast to immobilize the affected area.
When the swelling has decreased to the point you can see skin creases, you can begin partially putting weight on the area. In some cases, crutches or a cane is necessary. Usually, you can begin full weight-bearing at two weeks after the symptoms started. Weight-bearing stimulates healing.
By Amy McGorry
Basketball fans pondered the fate of Kobe Bryant after the Lakers announced that the star player was out for the season with a lateral tibial plateau fracture. This complicated fracture occurs on the top surface of the shinbone in the knee joint. It's like a fault line in earth’s surface that can create a “mini earthquake” in your knee, damaging the stability and structures of the joint.
Tibial plateau fractures are serious injuries, and are common in high-impact sports like football,...
For the next six to eight weeks -- or until you're free of pain -- avoid the activity that caused the stress fracture. If you exercise again too soon, you could delay the healing process. You could even cause damage that may never heal properly.
When you are ready to return to the activity, do it slowly. If you rush back in, you could re-injure yourself.
Very severe stress fractures that won't heal on their own may require surgery. Full recovery may take months or years.