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Metatarsal Stress Fracture

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Updated June 23, 2014

Definition: A metatarsal stress fracture is a common cause of foot pain, especially when people suddenly increase their activities. This type of injury, notorious in soldier recruits, is also called a "march fracture."

Metatarsal stress fractures cause pain with activity, and may lead to swelling and even pain at rest. If a stress fracture is not allowed adequate time to heal, the fracture may become complete and need more significant treatment, perhaps surgery.

When looking for a metatarsal stress fracture, your doctor will look at X-rays. X-rays may not show the injury, but rather evidence of a stress fracture trying to heal. A bone scan or MRI may be obtained. Treatment of a stress fracture is rest and possibly a cast.

Also Known As: March Fracture
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