LeVert Possible Repeat Stress Fracture Injury
Michigan’s shooting guard Caris LeVert will be sitting it out for the rest of the season due to a foot injury. LeVert was limping after a victorious game against the Northwesterns Wildcats and later that night he was seen on crutches. He is scheduled for surgery this week, following a 12-week and rehabilitation period.
LeVert injured the same foot he had surgery on last May due to a stress fracture, and most likely, he may have the same injury since the recurrence of stress fractures are very high.
What is a stress fracture?
Stress fractures are small but painful cracks on the bone, usually affecting the foot. This occurs because of muscle fatigue, the over used muscle can no longer absorb shock, thus transferring all the stress to the bone, leading to tiny cracks. Stress fracture is one the most common injuries in sports. I always refer this to thinking about an egg shell with cracks but not fully broken so that the content does not spill out. MRI's are excellent at diagnosis this condition, but the advent of ultrasound provides a quick and more cost effective alternative.
Some patients may have pathological fractures: eg bone tumors or osteoporosis, this needs to be checked thoroughly by a physician.
Rest is the best treatment for stress fractures. Allow the injured bone to heal for 6 to 8 weeks, the patient should not engage in with the activity that caused the fracture during this period. Recurrence of stress fracture is common, which causes larger cracks or a full fracture that can move out of place and that takes longer to heal and lead to possible surgery.
Another treatment available is injection of stem cells or amniotic stem cells to the fracture site to aid the body in healing of this condition. This is not covered by insurance but has been proven to cut the healing time in half in fusion cases whereby the surgeon creates a fracture on purpose to allow two bones to mend together. Fusions are done for generative joint disease and severe deformities such as a collapsed foot or multiple fractures that require stabilization.
If you have a nonhealing stress fracture or repeat stress fractures see your doctor.