Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stress Fracture

Since I posted “Bad Geek Girl” back in September, I have been receiving a lot of questions about my stress fracture, so I have decided to revisit the topic. I’m happy to share my experience, but understand that I’m definitely no doctor and can only relay what I went through.
I have no idea what brought the stress fracture on. I took a month off of running in March after my marathon, due to an IT Band injury. During that time, I started working with a physical therapist. When I came back to running in April, I jumped right in, full steam ahead. I also decided to start running in saucony kinvaras, a much more minimum shoe than I usually wear.

I had a lot of new things going on at the time. I had the physical therapy, which consisted of a lot of strength building exercises I hadn’t done before, I came back to running hard and fast and I was trying to transition into a more minimum shoe, along with a few other changes like shoe insoles and adjustments to my running form. I may have even been favoring my left leg (the side I ended up with the stress fracture on) due to my IT Band injury on my right leg.

In the beginning, it felt like I had strained something in my foot and I didn’t think it was anything to worry about. It wasn’t too painful walking around, but it was too intense to run on. It took me over a week to realize that something more serious was going on. It was determined that I had fractured the fifth metatarsal of my left foot.

The first three weeks after the diagnosis, I was in a boot cast. I wore the short air cam walker fracture boot. It was very comfortable for a walking boot and I was mostly pain free while moving around in it. The boot has an air pump on the front, allowing the wearer to inflate the boot to a comfortable setting. I would recommend this product to anyone with a similar injury.

In the beginning, I was swimming about five days a week as well as riding a stationary bike. My foot would get sore during these exercises, but I didn’t think I was doing any damage. After a month, I was getting anxious to get back to running, but my PT wanted me to give it a few more weeks. At this point I was limping, but boot free. Two weeks later, I had an appendectomy and have to stop exercising for at least two weeks to recover from surgery. My foot made huge improvements during that period of time, so I decided to completely stop exercising till I got the green light from my PT.

Overall, I had to take three months off. My PT deemed it healed two months after the injury, but kept me from running on it another month to make sure it completely healed. When I did come back, it felt a little stiff and sore, but not painful and that feeling disappeared after the first couple of weeks back. My foot is now completely pain free, but I have had to come back slowly and carefully. I’ve also transitioned to doing a lot of my runs on a treadmill, where before I always ran on the street.

If you are experiencing pain in your foot that isn’t going anyway, go to a doctor and have it checked out. Running on a stress fracture will only make it worse!

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