Skip to content
Font Size
A
A
A

Treatment for Stress Fractures

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.

Recommended Related to Fitness & Exercise

10 Fun Moves to Reshape Your Body With an Exercise Ball Workout

Remember how much fun it was to play with a ball when you were a child? A simple sphere was an endless source of inspiration and activity. And it still is. Using an exercise ball can be a challenging way to add variety and fun to your workout. Exercise balls -- also known as physioballs, Swiss balls, or fit balls -- are large, vinyl balls you can use to strengthen and stretch your body, improving core stability and balance. "I named the exercise ball the one piece of essential equipment...

Read the 10 Fun Moves to Reshape Your Body With an Exercise Ball Workout article > >

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.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on May 29, 2014

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

sore foot
3 warning signs.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
What it looks like.
checking blood sugar
Symptoms and treatment.
man behind computer screen
10 possible causes.
Woman with itchy watery eyes
Common triggers.
man screaming
Making sense of symptoms.
human liver
What puts you at risk?
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.