b. Signs/Symptoms of Psychosomatic Disorders. Treating the symptoms
may relieve the condition and soothe the patient, but only treating the symptoms will not
solve the problem. The patient must have psychoanalytic help to understand his
problem. Remember that the patient with a psychosomatic illness is really sick. He is
not pretending or imagining his symptoms; therefore, he cannot just turn off his illness at
will. Be careful not to belittle or make fun of him when you are treating him or making
arrangements for him to be treated elsewhere. Such treatment will not help the patient
2-24. STRESS FRACTURES
A fracture is the breaking of a bone chipping, cracking, splintering, or complete
break. A stress fracture is not a complete break but repeated force on a bone,
eventually resulting in mechanical failure. A march fracture, common in recruits, is a
good example of a stress fracture. A march fracture is a spontaneous stress fracture of
the second, third, or fourth metatarsal shaft. Severe strain is usually the cause. Soldiers
who have been on long marches often experience march fractures.
a. Signs/Symptoms of Stress Fractures. Included are the following:
Redness and swelling (if the bone involved is superficial).
Pain develops slowly, in many cases.
(4) X-ray is often inconclusive; however, comparison of x-rays taken at
different times may confirm the diagnosis of a fracture.
b. Treatment of Stress Fractures. Treat as follows:
(1) Splint the foot with a rigid padded board splint, an air splint, a pillow
splint, or an improvised splint of some other material. The purpose of the splint is to
immobilize the ankle joint as well as the foot.
Be sure to leave the toes exposed for periodic neurovascular checks.
Elevate the foot slightly after splinting to keep swelling of the foot to a
(4) Transport the patient in a supine position (to keep the foot elevated) to a
medical treatment facility.