A stress fracture is an overuse injury. It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture. Stress fractures often are the result of increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too rapidly. They also can be caused by the impact of an unfamiliar surface (a tennis player who has switched surfaces from a soft clay court to a hard court); improper equipment (a runner using worn or less flexible shoes); and increased physical stress (a basketball player who has had a substantial increase in playing time). Most stress fractures occur in the weight bearing bones of the lower leg and the foot.
Invasive group a streptococcal (iGAS) infections have been notifiable in Ireland since 2004. Incidence rates (2004–2011) have ranged from 0.8 to 1.65 per 100,000. In 2012, the iGAS rate rose to 2.66 per 100,000 and was associated with a high proportion of emm1 isolates. A further increase in January to June 2013 has been associated with increased prevalence of emm3. Public health departments and clinicians have been alerted to this increase.
Occasionally, a computed topography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be necessary. The most important treatment is rest. Individuals need to rest from the activity that caused the stress fracture, and engage in a pain-free activity during the six to eight weeks it takes most stress fractures to heal .If the activity that caused the stress fracture is resumed too quickly, larger, harder-to-heal stress fractures can develop. Re-injury also could lead to chronic problems where the stress fracture might never heal properly. In addition to rest, shoe inserts or braces may be used to help these injuries heal. Major Research is been done in Ireland by Health, Safety & Environment.