As a runner, there are two words you dread most when you go into your doctor’s office in pain: STRESS FRACTURE. It turns out 50% of stress fractures don’t appear on x-rays so when I had x-rays done the first time I felt pain in my foot and I was diagnosed with strained ligaments, I wasn’t exactly out of the clear.
I had made an appointment with my family physician soon after the visit to emerg, in hopes that when my appointment arrive I was healed up, but just needed confirmation that I had a good recovery training plan in place. Turns out I was still in a lot of pain when I visited his office 10 days after the initial onset of pain and after he asked me some questions about what I had been doing at the time of injury, what I had been doing for training up until that point, what the injured area felt like since, and then physically examined my foot, my doctor told me he was positive I had a stress fracture.
Can I just add MD to my title already, I was 100% right when I put this photo in a post last week that showed where I thought my injury was. My 4th metatarsal on my right foot has a stress fracture. Stress fracture healing time > ligament strain healing time. If it seems like it’s been a while since I have run, it has, because apparently cracked bones don’t heal on demand like I want them to.
My doctor told me to stay off of it as much as I could and that we were looking at a 6-week healing time. When he asked what I was doing when I started feeling pain I told him I was running on the treadmill. He asked how long I had been running and I said just over an hour. He looked at me in disbelief and I quickly told him I was training for a marathon. He said, “Not anymore.”
The Calgary Marathon is super up in the air right now, though with my race registration I have the option to drop down to a shorter race distance which is most likely what I will be doing! It is really hard to stay off of my foot because getting ANYWHERE requires me to use my foot… imagine that. 😉 More cycling and swimming and resting for this girl while I let my bones heal!
Healing a stress fracture includes:
- Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to speed up my bone healing (okay, probably a placebo effect but I’m still going to list this one).
- Wear supportive and cushioned footwear (aka. not flip-flops).
That’s about all I can do, which is frustrating. As soon as I can walk with no pain, I can start to think about running. As soon as I can run without pain I can slowly add miles back into my life. Key word: slowly. Now you know as much as I do about my fractured bone and why I haven’t been able to dive back into training yet! Thanks for all of the support and comments it really means a lot!
Have you ever experienced a stress fracture?
What supplements do you take daily? Does your nutrition change during injury?