Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone. They're caused by repetitive force, often from overuse — such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. Stress fractures can also arise from normal use of a bone that's weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis.

Stress fractures are most common in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Track and field athletes and military recruits who carry heavy packs over long distances are particularly susceptible, but anyone can have a stress fracture. If you start a new exercise program, for example, you might develop stress fractures if you do too much too soon.

Aug. 16, 2016
  1. deWeber, K. Overview of stress fractures. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 30, 2016.
  2. Stress fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00112. Accessed June 30, 2016.
  3. Stress fractures. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/search-results?q=stress%20fractures. Accessed June 30, 2016.