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A Rare Genetic Disease and Its Link to Foot Stress Fractures

Tuesday, 28 May 2024 00:00

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.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Deborah Holte, DPM from Northeast Missouri Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts


Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Kirksville, MO . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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