- Symptoms: Children with stress fractures may experience pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest. The pain is usually localized and may be accompanied by swelling or tenderness in the affected area.
- Diagnosis: A thorough medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests are typically used to diagnose stress fractures in children. X-rays may not always detect early stress fractures, so additional imaging tests like MRI or bone scans might be necessary.
- Rest and activity modification: The primary treatment for stress fractures in children involves rest and activity modification. This means avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain and allowing the bone to heal. Crutches or walking boots may be prescribed to reduce weight-bearing on the affected limb.
- Pain management: Over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to manage pain and inflammation. However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before giving any medication to a child.
- Physical therapy: Once the initial healing phase is complete, a physical therapy program may be prescribed to gradually restore strength, flexibility, and function to the affected area. Physical therapists can provide guidance on appropriate exercises and techniques to prevent future injuries.
- Nutrition and hydration: A well-balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients is important for overall bone health. Ensuring proper hydration is also essential for optimal recovery.
- Bracing or casting: In some cases, a brace or cast may be used to immobilize the affected bone and facilitate healing, particularly if the fracture is severe or not responding to conservative measures.
- Surgical intervention: Surgery is rarely required for stress fractures in children. However, in cases where conservative treatments have failed or for certain high-risk fractures, surgical intervention may be considered.
Facing Stress Fractures? Read below to find out more on what you can do.
Stress fractures in children can occur when there is repetitive stress or overuse on a bone, causing it to develop small cracks. These fractures are commonly seen in physically active children and adolescents involved in sports or activities that put a lot of strain on the bones. Here are some important points regarding stress fractures in children and treatment options:
It’s important to consult a healthcare professional, such as a pediatric orthopedic specialist or sports medicine physician, for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for stress fractures in children. They will be able to provide personalized advice based on the specific circumstances of the injury.
Embrace a pain-free future. Schedule your personalised consultation with our doctor now!
Dr Ananda Vella
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS (Singapore), MRCS (Edin), MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Orthopaedics & Trauma)