Tuesday, 28 May 2024 00:00

A Rare Genetic Disease and Its Link to Foot Stress Fractures

Hypophosphatasia, or HPP, is a rare genetic disorder characterized by impaired bone mineralization, leading to skeletal abnormalities and increased susceptibility to fractures. While HPP primarily affects bones throughout the body, including the legs and spine, it can also manifest in the feet, causing a range of complications, including stress fractures. In individuals with HPP, the deficiency of alkaline phosphatase enzyme disrupts the normal bone mineralization process, resulting in weakened bones that are prone to fracture under stress or pressure. Foot stress fractures, particularly in the metatarsal bones or heel, can occur due to repetitive impact or weight-bearing activities, exacerbating the existing skeletal fragility associated with HPP. Recognizing the potential connection between HPP and foot stress fractures is critical for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management strategies. Early intervention, including wearing supportive footwear, orthotic devices, and lifestyle modifications, can help mitigate the risk of fractures and improve the quality of life for individuals living with this rare genetic disease. If you believe you have a foot stress fracture, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can successfully treat these breaks, and determine if HPP is a contributing factor.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Barry University Foot and Ankle Institute. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Miami, North Miami Beach, Miami Beach, and Tamarac, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

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