The talus is a bone which is present in the ankle and is small in size. Its function is shifting weight from the shin to the foot. The talus is located below the tibia and fibula. It connects with these bones and forms the ankle joint. Other than the ankle joint, it also forms joints with other small bones such as navicular and calcaneus.
Talus stress fracture occurs due to continuous, repetitive weight bearing or due to compressive forces on it.
Causes of Stress Fracture of the Talus
- Repeated overpronation and plantar flexion of ankle.
- Excessive weight bearing and force to the ankle such as seen in running.
- Other contributing factors are: Bad foot biomechanics, excessive training, ill-fitting footwear, stiffness in the joint, poor flexibility and weakness of the muscle.
Symptoms of Stress Fracture of the Talus
- Deep ankle pain which increases upon any activity.
- Tenderness is present.
- Swelling may be present.
- Pain during night.
- Inability to bear weight.
- Difficulty walking.
Treatment of Stress Fracture of the Talus
- MRI, CT scan or bone scan helps in confirming its diagnosis.
- Adequate rest is needed with cast application for at least six weeks.
- Crutches or a protective boot can be used to prevent complete weight bearing.
- Any biomechanical problem causing overpronation should be corrected by using orthotic inserts.
- Surgery may be done to excise the lateral process of the talus bone. This helps in progressing the healing.
- After the fracture has healed, patient should be enrolled in a rehab program with emphasis on stretching and strengthening so as to get the mobility and flexibility back and for range of motion of foot.