You may have seen in recent news that President-elect Joe Biden has fractured his foot while playing with his German Sheppard, Major. The next day he visited his orthopedist, who didn’t see the fracture initially on x-ray, but discovered a tiny fracture on two small bones in the middle of his foot after reviewing a CT scan. While the health of our future president is everyone’s concern, a hairline fracture such as this, is actually quite common.
So, what exactly is a hairline fracture?
A hairline fracture or a stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone. This type of injury usually occurs in the bones of foot and lower leg from repetitive jumping or running. However, it can also occur, as in the case with Joe Biden, as a result of an injury. It has been reported that President-elect Biden had not one, but who tiny fractures “mid-foot.” Interestingly, the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals are the most common victims of a fracture because the density of the bone is thin and they absorb a lot of stress during activities.
How do you know if you have a stress fracture?
A good indication of a stress fracture is pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. Other common symptoms include swelling, bruising, and tenderness when touched. These can also be an indication of a sprain so it’s important to seek medical attention to ensure your injury heals properly. While we are on the topic of medical attention, if you injure any part of your foot or ankle we highly encourage you to see a Podiatric Physician! Foot and ankle specialists are experts at diagnosing any sports injury that can occur on your foot. Joe Biden had an X-Ray performed on his foot that didn’t pick up the stress fracture visually. Thankfully, he also had a CT scan ordered which shows the bones, soft tissue and blood vessels in much greater detail.
You have been diagnosed with a hairline fracture, what’s next?
I`m glad you asked! Pain and swelling related to a stress fracture can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin. Many Podiatric Physicians prescribe a cast, crutches, or an offloading boot, as is the case with Joe Biden. It`s been reported that President Elect Biden will be in a boot for several weeks. That is because it typically takes 6-8 weeks to completely heal.
Stress fractures are a fairly common condition and can happen to anyone, even the future President of the United States. The key is proper treatment to get you back on your feet and active again.