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Foot Fractures Can Signal Osteoporosis

Updated: Mar 29

Unexplained foot pain or foot fracture can actually be an early sign of osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that weakens bones and can lead to fractures or breaks.

Osteoporosis often progresses without any symptoms or is not diagnosed until a person experiences pain from a bone fracture. Bones with osteoporosis are in a weakened state, and normal weightbearing actions, such as walking, can cause the bones in the foot to break. Many of the patients who come to our office with foot pain find out they actually have a hairline break in the bone (stress fracture), without having experienced an injury.

While osteoporosis is most commonly seen in women over age 50, younger people and men are also affected. Early symptoms can include increased pain with walking accompanied by redness and swelling on the top of the foot.

If you are living with osteoporosis, it is important to protect your feet from stress fractures. Our office recommends the following to keep your feet safe and comfortable:

1.. Wear shoes designed for the exercise or sport. Athletic shoes that support your arch and cushion the heel are the best to wear. Custom orthotics may also help provide extra support and shock absorption.

2. Start new workouts gradually. Be sure to stretch or warm up for your workout and start new exercise routines gradually. Increase your exercise intensity by only 10 percent each week. If your feet get sore, use rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).

3. Protect your feet from bacteria. Sweaty shoes and public showers at the gym are breeding grounds for bacteria, including resistant strains like MRSA. Never go barefoot while in public areas, and be sure to cover cuts and cracks in the skin or ingrown toenails to help keep out germs. If you have a cut or scrape that becomes infected and does not heal in a timely manner, call our office to have it examined.

If you are suffering from unexplained foot pain, schedule an appointment with our office for a proper diagnosis.

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