Tennis Great John Isner Sidelined with a Foot Stress Fracture


It was bad luck for John Isner, professional tennis player ranked #9 in men’s singles. In his match with Roger Federer in the recent Miami Tennis Open, Isner injured his foot in the second set. He suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and will be out of commission for 4 to 6 weeks.

What Is a Stress Fracture?

Unlike other breaks where the bone splits right through, a stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone.

Stress fractures are caused by repetitive force such as from overuse. Tennis players are prone to these injuries because of the stress from repeated running and jumping. Track and field athletes may suffer from stress fractures.

However, anyone can get a stress fracture. Besides sports injuries like tennis, basketball, gymnastics and jumping, other risk factors include:

  • A sudden increase in activity such as increasing too quickly the frequency, duration or intensity of a workout.

  • Foot problems such as high arches or flat feet.

  • Worn out footwear.

  • Weakened bones from osteoporosis.

  • Nutritional deficiency such as lack of vitamin D and calcium or an eating disorder.

Stress fractures are painful. Often the discomfort starts mildly, then worsens with time. There may be swelling around the area.

Treating a Stress Fracture

To confirm our diagnosis of stress fracture after we examine the painful area, we will order imaging tests such as an x-ray, MRI and bone scan.

Rest is critical in treating a stress fracture. Just as Isner is now forced to do, most activities must be postponed to allow the bone to heal. Wearing a walking boot or brace, or using crutches, will help lessen the weight-bearing on the injured bone.

In some cases, surgery may be required for complete healing.

You Can Take Action Right Now To Help Prevent Stress Fractures

  • Start new exercise routines slowly and ramp up your program gradually.

  • Wear proper shoes for each activity and replace them when they wear out.

  • Ask us about special arch supports for your shoes if you have flat feet.

  • Switch up your workout routine with low-impact activities to avoid repetitive stress.

  • Get plenty of calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients with your food and drinks.

Let Us Help Resolve Your Foot Pain

The foot specialists at PodiatryCare, PC and the Heel Pain Center have extensive experience in treating all aspects of foot problems. Our team of doctors which consists of Dr. Robert Marra, Dr. Thomas Johnson, Dr. Kristen Winters, Dr. Laura Vander Poel, and Dr. Ryan Donegan is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Many treatments and surgeries can be handled right in our offices. Please call us at (860) 741-3041 to make an appointment in one of our offices in Hartford County, conveniently located in Enfield, Windsor and South Windsor, CT.