We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Ankle Stress Fracture?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When a person gets a fracture in the ankle, it typically means that they have a break in the fibula or tibia bone, in close proximity to the foot at the end of these bones. Ankle fractures are quite common, but one type that may be slightly harder to notice at first is the ankle stress fracture. This results in a relatively small break to either of these bones, and it is usually not caused by a sudden impact injury. Instead an ankle stress fracture often results from repeating an activity performed over and over on a bone that is either weakened or that has weakened muscles. In this scenario a small break in the bone may occur, and even though these fractures are small, they still require treatment.

A plethora of reasons exist why people might develop an ankle stress fracture. Often, this injury occurs in athletes, especially if they are overtraining or pushing themselves in activities that involve much use of the feet. Alternately, those who are trying to establish a regular exercise pattern, especially one that includes activities like jumping, dancing, running/walking or bicycling, could be too active at first.

When muscles that are built in part to help bones take repeated impact aren’t doing their job properly, injury can occur to the bones as the muscle repeatedly fails to absorb shock and protect them. Another potential cause is fundamental weakness in bones, as resulting from conditions like osteoporosis. If bone strength is poor, an activity done over and again could result in fracture. When either of these situations occurs, there is risk not only of an ankle stress fracture but a fracture happening in the foot bones.

Symptoms of an ankle stress fracture can include pain, especially when weight is placed on the affected foot. Pain may lessen or not be felt at all, whenever a person can rest the foot. Fractures can cause swelling and some bruising could be present too. One area of the ankle might hurt if it is touched.

While it might be easy to dismiss these symptoms as ankle sprain (and not go to the doctor), it’s really recommended people get medical help. Even though treatment might only involve rest and keeping off the foot, it’s possible to reinjure the foot or cause a more extensive break if treatment guidelines aren’t followed. Moreover, sometimes doctors take a more aggressive approach with an ankle stress fracture and ask patients to wear a cast or brace for a few weeks, or suggest surgery when a fracture isn’t healing properly. It’s also a good idea to understand cause of the fracture, especially if this is osteoporosis, so that certain activities could be avoided in the future that might result in another break or doctors could address deteriorating bone mass.

In general, treatment is usually rest for several weeks and possibly immobilization of the foot through casting or braces. When people start to return to activities, especially athletes, they may be given set limits on how much to do. Gradually restarting any form of exercise is recommended, since starting at full pace may easily result in a second ankle stress fracture. This last advice is also appropriate for anyone beginning a new sports activity; a pace that increases gradually is likely to be a good preventative to stress fractures.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.