Riding the line: Stress Reaction or Stress Fracture

Who hasn’t ┬áhad something drop into their leg or smash foot and wondered if it’s just a bone bruise or a stress fracture. I recently hustled out the door to my soccer match and as I was trying to get the first touch on a fifty-fifty ball I got cleated in the ankle. I finished the game but ended up limping around for the next week. There is a way that you can determine the extent of an injury even if it is not showing; diagnostic ultrasound.

Here’s what a stress reaction of the tibia looks like. You can see the dark area which is swelling right above the bone by the arrow. X-rays will usually not show a stress reaction injury and it can take up to 2 weeks to detect a stress fracture because the bone has to decalcify after injury.The value of early detection with ultrasound is that it allows a more definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.
Stress-Fracture