Unexplained foot fractures may be the first sign of osteoporosis, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Osteoporosis often progresses without any symptoms or goes undiagnosed until a person experiences pain from a bone fracture.
According to Georgeanne Botek, DPM, FACFAS, a Cleveland foot and ankle surgeon, the porous nature of bones in people with osteoporosis makes them more susceptible to bone fractures, especially in the feet.
“Because the bones are in a weakened state, normal weight-bearing actions like walking can cause the bones in the foot to break,” Botek stated in a press release. “In fact, many patients visit their foot and ankle surgeon suffering from foot pain only to find out they actually have a stress fracture, without having experienced an injury.”
While osteoporosis is most commonly diagnosed in women older than 50 years, younger people and men are also affected. Early symptoms can include increased pain with walking accompanied by redness and swelling on the top of the foot.
“Oftentimes patients don’t seek treatment for their symptoms for weeks or even months, thinking the pain will pass,” Botek stated. “The best advice is, don’t ignore foot pain of any type. Early intervention can make all the difference in your treatment and recovery.”