- First of all, I can say that almost without fail, the fracture occurred as the running intensity was elevated. The patient did not notice the pain immediately, but noticed it soon after, in each case by the next day.
- Second, the pain was exacerbated with running, and specifically elevated with impact (landing on the injured leg).
- Third, no matter what stretches the patient employed, if they used ice or not, the pain did not diminish.
- Fourth, taking meds, like NSAIDs, did not resolve the pain.
- Fifth, a complete orthopedic evaluation ruled out all the muscles as a source of the pain.
A suspicion of a stress fracture needs to be further investigated by a bone scan which shows a 2% change in bone density rather than an x-ray which illustrates a fracture when there is a 50% change in bone density. Some physicians prefer an MRI to rule it out, but most opt for a bone scan.
The treatment for a stress fracture is the same as for any fracture. Non-weight bearing for 6 weeks, followed by 6 weeks of rehab before returning to previous mileages.