Radiopaedia 2024 rPoster Abstract Submissions: These will remain open only for a small number of extra hours today!  SUBMIT NOW

Metatarsal stress fracture

Case contributed by Maulik S Patel
Diagnosis certain


Right mid-foot localized pain and swelling for the last six weeks. No history of trauma. Radiograph at the onset of symptoms was normal. Referred for ultrasound of the foot.

Patient Data

Age: 15 years
Gender: Female

At the site of pain and swelling indicated by the patient, the 2nd metatarsal shaft shows callus formation, bony enlargement and posterior acoustic shadowing. There is a rim of subperiosteal fluid with adjacent soft tissue edema. However, there is no fracture line in the 2nd metatarsal bone. The rest of the metatarsals show normal cortex and contour.


There is a periosteal reaction involving the 2nd metatarsal shaft. There is no fracture line. The rest of the bones show normal cortex and trabecular pattern. There is no dislocation/bone lesion.

Case Discussion

The case shows classic presentation and imaging findings of a metatarsal stress fracture. An adolescent girl presented with a non-traumatic onset of right foot pain for the last six weeks. The initial foot radiograph was negative. Ultrasound at six weeks shows 2nd metatarsal periosteal reaction and callus formation. The foot radiograph was done; it also shows a stress fracture.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.