A march stress fracture is a small break in a metatarsal bone of the foot that occurs without a major traumatic episode. There are 5 metatarsal bones in each foot. They are located in the area between the toes and the ankle. They were called march fractures because they were first seen in military recruits because of excess marching. These fractures still occur in that group.
|March Stress Fracture|
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Factors that may increase the chance of getting a march stress fracture include:
Participation in high foot impact sports, such as:
- Jumping events in track
- Military service
- Feet with high arches
- Use of poor or improper footwear
- Female runners with amenorrhea (absent menstruation), osteoporosis, or an eating disorder
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist. An orthopedist focuses on bones. A sports medicine physician works on sports-related injuries.
Imaging tests evaluate the bones in your foot and surrounding structures. These may include:
- MRI scan
- CT scan
To help reduce your chance of a march stress fracture, take the following steps:
- Wear shock-absorbing insoles when running or during other high-impact exercise.
- When starting a new sport or increasing your workout, do so gradually.
- Choose footwear that takes into account the specific sport and your type of foot.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Stress Fracture, March; Stress Fracture of Metatarsal Bone; Fatigue Fracture)
American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine http://www.aapsm.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://whenithurtstomove.org
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