Stress fractures, or hairline fractures, are very common in the foot and ankle. They are especially common at the forefoot, at the 2nd metatarsal. X-rays are important in diagnosing stress fractures, however, they may be negative since it takes 14-21 days for a stress fracture to show up on X-ray. MRIs may be ordered to diagnose a stress fracture at an earlier point. Stress fractures heal very well without surgery. Treatment typically involves offloading in a CAM boot for 4-6 weeks, then transitioning into a sneaker.
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