These fractures result from repetitive submaximal loads applied to the foot, ankle, leg; they are usually the result of overuse (in athletes, over-training). They are common in long distance runners and female athletes.
Common stress fracture sites include the lower leg (in runners), calcaneus, talus, metatarsals in distance runners, and the big toe.
Pain and point tenderness, often relieved by rest, is typical. X-rays do not always show the fracture. Bone scans and MRI may be useful.
Most heal with rest, immobilization and cross training. Avoid high-impact workouts, and wear good shoes.