Treatment options for stress fractures include minimizing activity level to achieve pain-free movement, taking acetaminophen, therapeutic stretching and strengthening exercises, and using devices such as stirrup leg braces or crutches, states the American Academy of Family Physicians. Cross-training for heart health and surgery for high-risk stress fractures are additional options.
Stress fractures that become full-fledged fractures or delay reuniting or healing are considered high-risk. Fractures of the talus, patella, medial malleolus, anterior tibia and the fifth metatarsal are examples of high-risk stress fractures, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. From the time the activity restrictions begin, stress fractures generally take from four weeks to three months or more to heal.