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Return-to-Activity Levels in 96 Athletes with Stress Fractures of the Foot, Ankle, and Leg

A Retrospective Analysis

Michael W. Heaslet Irvine Multi-Specialty Surgical Care, Irvine, CA.

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Sneh L. Kanda-Mehtani Irvine Multi-Specialty Surgical Care, Irvine, CA.

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Stress fractures of the foot and ankle are common in the athletic population. Because this population is especially eager to return to activity, such fractures can be challenging to treat. If the biomechanical faults are not addressed or gradual return to activity is not monitored appropriately, fractures occasionally recur. A retrospective analysis was conducted of 96 athletes who presented to a podiatric sports medicine practice over the course of 10 years with stress fractures confirmed by radiograph or bone scan. The most common type of fracture sustained by this population was tibial stress fracture, followed by second metatarsal fracture. Marathon training was the most common pre-injury activity overall, although fitness walking was the most common activity among those with metatarsal fractures. This study relates the most common types of stress fractures of the foot, ankle, and leg to certain athletic activities and correlates duration of symptoms before presentation with return-to-activity time. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(1): 81–84, 2007)

Corresponding author: Michael W. Heaslet, DPM, MS, 4950 Barranca Pkwy, Ste 308, Irvine, CA 92714.
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