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stress fracture? input please, thanks.
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Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
stress fracture? input please, thanks. on 04/13/2012 07:13:58 MDT Print View

eeeks. per the subject line, i think i might have one on my 3rd metatarsal.
i awoke earlier this week, and suddenly when stepping down from bed, i felt a stabbing pain. i haven't changed my exercise regime, (have changed my footwear)and i can't pinpoint a time and/or place where i did anything differently to have invited an injury. honestly, i'm quite stymied! literally, it came on overnight!
the pain is central and about a 4-5. it's not overbearing-- menaing not to the point where it keeps me awake at night, nor does it pervade my every thought. i simply know something is askew. i'm casually concerned and i'm on school vaca in a week when i have planned to play harder than ever! sans health insurance, how can i be sure? and if so, can i contnue to exercise on it? i haven't had an injury in 10 years, (ever since i aborted running). i simply walk long miles, hike and cycle. no less, i've taken the week off from sincere excersing (already going crazy and getting soft! urgh) but knowingly i can't NOT play. additionally, i'm icing it, taking arnica, drinking lots of pineapple juice, amping up my protein intake and well, i still don't know what i've got. there's no obvious bruising and the swelling is well, rather insignificant to what i've historically encountered. anyone have anything to add that might help me assemble the puzzle? how long to give it before my concern swells to unhealthy levels?many thanks. lt

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
re: stress fracture on 04/13/2012 08:25:04 MDT Print View

I got a stress in my 4th metatarsal from running a few years ago. As for diagnosis, you can only know it's a stress fracture with an MRI or bone scan. They don't show up on conventional x-rays until the healing is well under way (and even then the signs are faint). If you don't have insurance, and you don't want to pay the $1000+ for the MRI, then it might be safest to just treat it as a stress fracture.

I had a bit of swelling right above my injury site, but I didn't even notice it until after the diagnosis (which was a full month after the injury). Once I got the MRI and they told me where the fracture was, if I pressed in that spot on the bone, it was very painful. That might be something you can look for.

As for recovery, I was told 3 weeks of no exercise followed by 3 more weeks of gradually increasing low-impact exercise (elliptical, walking, etc.). The key thing is to avoid doing anything that causes pain. I had pain from walking, so the doctor put me in a walking boot for 3 weeks. If you have pain from walking and can get a boot, they're great. Crutches might work. too. Also, my doctor told me to take calcium supplements.

I was running again 6 weeks after I started wearing the boot. Hobbling around for 3 weeks was frustrating, but in the big scheme of things it was no big deal. The great thing about bone injuries--unlike tendon or joint injuries--is that once they heal, they're healed for good. Since the injury I've had no problem at all with my foot and have done a thru-hike and a ton of running since then. Good luck with it.

Mike In Socal
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Stress fracture? on 04/13/2012 09:31:17 MDT Print View

Are you stretching enough?

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
milk doesn't (always) do a body good, so i'm finding... on 04/13/2012 09:37:20 MDT Print View

i appreciate it, scott.
i've since some sideline research to share.

contrary to popular belief, it appears as though exorbanant (sp.)? calcium intake can prohibit bone repair. i'm intrigued and will further investigate!

no less, more to consider, yes, and i agree, i shall treat it as a fracture.

lesson learned:
i should be more vigilant about replacing my work kicks BEFORE they are shot!


check it:

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: stress fracture? input please, thanks. on 04/13/2012 09:53:30 MDT Print View

I'm not a doctor, but most stress fractures are due to over-exercise/activities or repetitive activities, unless there are deficiencies in diet or other physical problems.

Rest is the fix.

When my son was in high school he developed serious shin stress fractures. Rest fixed him up, although he continued to exercise in a gym and in the pool. I think he did this for about 6-8 weeks. After that it took him about 4 weeks to get back into elite (for his age) racing shape. It is a common problem for distance runners (shins) and soldiers (feet).

Not something to mess around with. Rest, rest, rest.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
stress fracture? on 04/13/2012 10:24:30 MDT Print View


Edited by skopeo on 09/08/2015 16:01:38 MDT.

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
thanks. on 04/13/2012 11:15:32 MDT Print View

mike-- funny you should ask.
this serves a firm reminder that i've been lax on my yoga!
it pays to stretch. indeed.
nick-- i will rest. not easily, but i will.
good weather, likely i'll cycle and lay off the agressive marathon-style walks!
maybe a few days even it will subside/magically disappear.
(i'm seceretly dying the latter).
should it linger, i'll then pursue professional attention.
thanks again all!