Prevention and Treatment
On this page we are going to provide some prevention and treatment options for metatarsal stress fractures that may be prescribed by your doctor. Before we start, however, we want to advise anyone who thinks they might have a stress fracture to have it evaluated by a podiatrist. Stress fractures that are not treated correctly can lead to more serious fractures that might require long-term immobilization or even surgery. We don’t recommend home remedies for stress fractures.
If you think you might have a stress fracture, stay off your foot until you get it evaluated by a doctor. Your doctor my prescribe a “walking boot” (removable cast). We recommend the Ossur Equalizer Walker to our patients who don’t want to purchase a boot through the office.
Several studies have shown that orthotics that conform closely to your arch reduce the strain on the metatarsal bones, thus reducing chance of stress fractures. Custom orthotics have been shown to work best, but if you cannot get a custom orthotic you can try a prefabricated orthotic. The best one we have found for stress fracture prevention is the PowerStep Medical Grade Orthotic. This orthotic works well because it does a better job than most OTC arch supports at reducing pressure under the metatarsal bones.
To help prevent stress fractures wear a stable shoe at all times (if you are not wearing a walker). You can download our list of recommended shoes. One of favorite walking shoes for people with a history of metatarsal stress fracture is the Orthaheel Walker shoe. Very stable and offers good cushion.
It is a good idea to have arch support most of time to prevent the return of the stress fractures. For patients who don’t want to wear a shoe around the house, we suggest they consider Orthaheel Flip Flop Sandals. While flip-flops will never be as stable as shoes, these have a great arch support and are the best flip-flops we have found.
If you think you may have a stress fracture, or you have previously had one and want to prevent recurrence, contact us for an appointment in our convenient Seattle office.