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2013-12-18 7:22 PM

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Subject: The Stress Fracture / Shin Splint Delima
Hi all,

I have a sharp pain in my leg. I feel this throughout daily activities and while sitting at my desk as well. I can feel a slight jolt when walking (just less intense than when running). The pain is:

Left leg only
2" up from ball on ankle
Front of shin towards the inside of leg
The pain is concentrated but "trigger area" about the size of a baseball
It does not feel like there is any meat or muscle between the area of pain and where I touch it.
Sharp pain in 1 area tender and unpleasant All Round
Other leg and rest of body is completely normal

It sounds like I might have a stress fracture? I'm not sure I want to spend the money on an MRI if the result is simply to rest (whether confirmed or suspected) treatment sounds the same with more money in my pocket.

I have been:
Running 15-20 Mi/weeks (pretty low for me)
Raced a half 2 weeks a go
Raced a Duathlon last week 2.7 Mi run (legs only barely hurt)

Trainer rides 2-3 hours total EA week
No pain whatsoever when cycling

I've had this pain but much less intense before, I usually give it a week and then it becomes tiny and insignificant.
It has been ongoing, progressively worse, and much much more intense the past few weeks.

***I have a marathon March 1st

1) Does it sound to you I have a stress fracture or a more probable issue if left alone?
2) Would you get an MRI to confirm stress fracture?
3) Would you stop running altogether and focus on cross training?
3) How long would you rest?
4) If resting would you try and train lightly come late Feb or during _____ and still try the marathon? Or just run one later in the year?
5) Would aqua jogging be a decent substitute and still keep me in acceptable marathon shape?
6) Can I lift legs with a stress fracture or is that counter productive as well?

I will not PR my marathon and I am 100% ok with that. I want to rest, train properly, or do whatever needs to be done to get me back in prime working order again (even if that's missing races and not running for months etc.)



I value this forums opinion, so what do you think?


2013-12-18 11:54 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: The Stress Fracture / Shin Splint Delima

I have been through a femoral stress fracture and watched my son work through a stress fracture in his foot.  Can you hop on your bad leg?  Neither of our stress fractures showed up on MRI until they began to heal, but not being able to "hop" was consistent with both. (both were diagnosed initially without a positive MRI)

At any rate, if I was you, I wouldn't run at all until I had no pain....and I'd get a really good sports orthopedic doc involved. (if you've got a pro football/hockey/baseball team in your area I'd go see their docs)  Stress fractures are not easily verified from my non-medically trained experiences.



Edited by Left Brain 2013-12-18 11:58 PM
2013-12-19 4:09 PM
in reply to: 1st Time 70.3!

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Subject: RE: The Stress Fracture / Shin Splint Delima

1) Does it sound to you I have a stress fracture or a more probable issue if left alone? 2) Would you get an MRI to confirm stress fracture? 3) Would you stop running altogether and focus on cross training? 3) How long would you rest? 4) If resting would you try and train lightly come late Feb or during _____ and still try the marathon? Or just run one later in the year? 5) Would aqua jogging be a decent substitute and still keep me in acceptable marathon shape? 6) Can I lift legs with a stress fracture or is that counter productive as well? I will not PR my marathon and I am 100% ok with that. I want to rest, train properly, or do whatever needs to be done to get me back in prime working order again (even if that's missing races and not running for months etc.) I value this forums opinion, so what do you think?

1. no idea, no way to diagnose over the net.

2. Yes, because the answer to that (even if it shows) dictates recovery and answers a lot of your questions

3.  depends....   As LB Says, I'd rest until you have no pain, then go twoweeks. As an aside, that is what I am doing with a foot injury.  Been off running for about 3.5 weeks so far.   6 weeks total.  hopefully

4.  No.  skip it

5.  I have heard good things, but it depends on the shape going in and how long you have to do it for.  Friend did NY with all elliptical.  He didn't enjoy it

6.  Sorry don't know.

If the second to last statement is true, you won't be running a marathon in March.  I've given up my fair share of race fees, including 2 in the last two months

2013-12-20 1:25 PM
in reply to: 1st Time 70.3!

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Subject: RE: The Stress Fracture / Shin Splint Delima

it could be a stress fracture.  Stress fxes can't be dxed on plain xrays until they start to heal.  A bone scan or MRI would show a stress fx.  Its up to you if you want to get the study but I would suggest seeing a sports orthopod if you are able to.  Sounds like this is towards your ankle.  Try getting an aircast.  It will support the area and make you have less pain while ambulating.  I would not run.  Minimum 6 weeks and then only resume if you are pain free at rest and with activity and you would gradually need to ease into it.  I personally think the marathon is a bad idea in march.  Certainly aqua jogging. swimming and cycling can maintain your fitness but I think a march marathon would be ill advised if this is a stress fx.  I would say yes to lifting if it does not exacerbate your pain.  No running no jumping. 

2014-01-06 12:39 PM
in reply to: 1st Time 70.3!

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: The Stress Fracture / Shin Splint Delima
Just realized I never replied here...

No I couldn't (Still cant 100% comfortably) hop on my leg. I didn't get an MRI, whether it was positive or negative I'm in pain and the solution is the same either way...Rest!

I contacted race directors and they let me transfer my registration to a "Friend." I placed adds on Craigslist under used running shoes and offered to donate my registration there (I figure anyone who is buying used shoes probably doesn't have the scratch for a marathon entry). In any event I donated my entry fee for the Phoenix Marathon and a 10K here in CO.

I'm 3 weeks into resting. I'll give it 8 and see how I feel then work my mileage up slowly (it'll be hard because I want to run SO BAAAD!). My swimming sucks anyway so this gives me a couple months to focus on that. Cheers!
2014-01-06 4:13 PM
in reply to: Brian W

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Subject: RE: The Stress Fracture / Shin Splint Delima
I too have been dealing with a painful spot on my shin and don't want to spend the money for proper testing. Mine is really slow going. Seems to get better and I forget about it and do something stupid that will make it ache again. I started thinking about bone stimulators which are very pricey. Not gonna buy one that' s for sure! But my hubby suggested using our tens machine. I googled it and sure enough, there are some studies out there saying that a tens machine may help speed up healing. If you are not lucky enough to already own one, I think you can get one pretty cheap off of Amazon. Google "stress fracture and tens unit". I figure at the very least it won't hurt anything. Good luck to you!


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