Which clinical history findings are characteristic of metatarsal stress fractures?

Updated: Jan 16, 2019
  • Author: Valerie E Cothran, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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  • Patients usually report having increased the intensity or duration of their exercise regimen.

  • Initially, dull pain only occurs with exercise, then the condition progresses to pain at rest.

  • Pain starts diffusely, then localizes to the site of the fracture.

  • Stress fractures can be historically distinguished from a true Jones fracture, because patients with a stress mechanism as the etiology report a long history of prodromal symptoms of pain over the proximal fifth metatarsal.

  • Menstrual irregularities should be explored in female patients due to a high association between female athletics, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis — otherwise known as the female athletic triad. [13, 14]

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