A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone. Stress fractures usually occur in the foot, shin, outer leg, thigh, and back.
A stress fracture usually happens when a bone is put through repeated or unusual stress. For example, joggers often develop stress fractures in the foot or shins from the repeated stress of running. These fractures are usually small, but they can produce severe pain.
What are the causes and risks of the injury?
Stress fractures are the result of overuse of the bone. Most stress fractures in younger adults are in the feet or legs. They are often caused by activities such as running, dancing, or jumping. Older people are more likely to have stress fractures in other areas, such as the hips and back.
Other risk factors include obesity and calcium deficiency. A history of bone or joint disease, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, can increase the risk of stress fractures.