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Thread: Stress Fracture

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    287

    Stress Fracture

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    I'm waiting to have an MRI tomorrow to confirm a diagnosis of a calcaneus (heel) stress fracture. I'm sure that I am not the first one on this board to suffer this injury and I was hoping that you could share your experiences. I'm wondering how you were treated, how long it took to heal, and what kind of exercises you did while waiting.

    So far, the only thing that is pain free is swimming. I did bike for 25 miles yesterday and that was pretty easy as long as I avoided climbing hills or using my hard gears as the added pressure on the ball of my foot transfered to extreme pain in my heel. I aslo found that using the elliptical machine this morning was very uncomfortable and quit after only twenty minutes. This is going to be tough.

    Thanks in advance for sharing.

    Karri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    The Red Stick
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    1,439
    I have no experience with this, but I hope you heal quickly! At least you can still swim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    30

    Heel problem

    I obviously haven't had the opportunity to actually look at your foot so what do I know?
    But if loading the ball of your foot makes your heel hurt has anyone ruled out plantar fasciitis? The tight band that connects the ball of the foot to the heel helps to make the foot into a rigid platform for toe-off and can get inflamed at its insertion into the heel.
    I may be doing your doc a huge disservice here but MRI's do not always help with this kind of thing....I hope you have had a thorough exam and not just been sent off to the giant magnet to get you out of the room?
    The reason its important to know if your fascia is tight is because stretches can really help (foot and calf)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24
    Unfortunately, I've had several from running, so you have my sympathy. I don't think you should rule out plantar fascitis, either. Not that that's a picnic, but you can do some stretches that will help with it.

    If it is a fracture and I'm any indication of how fractures heal, it can take anywhere from six weeks on. My worst one (recently) took three months. Good luck with your recovery. I hope it's a speedy one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    287
    Ah, Plantar fasciitis...that is what we thought it was when the symptoms first appeared in April. At that time I got new insoles from the doctor, started the stretches and let him shoot some kind of medicine into the bottom of my foot. All was well for almost six weeks, until the meds wore off and the pain came screaming back, worse than before and this time I had an extreme reaction when the doc probed the side of my heel with his fingers. I think that is when he thought it could be the stress fracture.

    I get the results tomorrow. Hopefully, we will come up with some kind of plan at that time. Still bummed that he won't let me participate in the Danskin Triathlon this weekend. But perhaps I'll be able to talk him into letting me do the swim/bike portion of the race. I know that running is out of the question.

    Today during boot camp I was asked to jump rope and I thought I'd give it a try and just land on my left foot, but no...somehow I managed to put some of my weight on the right foot too and a red hot pain shot straight up my leg and I thought I was going to faint. Good thing that was my last task as I was finished for the day at that point.

    Thanks for the thoughts...I'll let you know if I hear anything good tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NY, NY
    Posts
    397
    i had a calcaneus fracture, tho traumatic, not a stress fracture. it healed relatively quickly. i was doing weights within 10 days and back to cardio soon after (i hadn't started cycling yet). heal well and fast. follow dr's advice from the beginning and you will be back on the bike sooner.

    maryellen--currently off the bike w a sprained ankle

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    287
    Thanks everyone! Guess it isn't a stress fracture after all! Just plain 'ol plantar fasciitis along with internal bruising and swelling in the heel area. In fact, the tendon that runs down the inside of the foot is swollen and is pinching a nerve at the place where they make a 90 degree turn under the ankle bone.

    I'll take some antiinflamatory meds along with pt and custom insoles. We are hoping that will do the trick, if not, he will discuss surgery. I'll listen, but it will be a hard sell...after all it took me over a year to agree to my hysterectomy and that was a total necessity!

    This hasn't been any fun at all. I rode tonight and the pain was so severe that my entire body was shaking by the time I got home. That Danskin race in three days is going to be very difficult!

    Thanks again for all of the info.

    maryellen, I hope your sprain heals quickly and that you are back on your bike in no time!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shelbyville, KY
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    1,472
    Plantar fascitis bites, been there and done that. Listen to your doctor on this one for it takes some time to work the inflammation out of the foot. Have you considered seeing a chiropractor to help in your healing process?
    Are you icing your foot? If not, try filling a water bottle with water, freeze it and then roll your foot on it for about 20 minutes. Hope you heal quickly for I feel your pain.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Trondheim, Norway
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    1,469
    If the tendon at your heel is swollen, it might also help to immobilize the heel, i.e. not bend it so the tendon isn't sliding in its sheath. High heels might do the trick, if you have any. They have you walking with your heel lifted so the tendons in the heel area (especially achilles) are kept shortened. That was the trick a physical therapist told me, years ago when I had tendonitis in the achilles. I had to go out and buy some heels, hadn't ever owned a pair. The ones I bought were ugly and I haven't used them since, but I don't dare throw them away because they really did the trick.
    Half-marathon over. Sabbatical year over. It's back to "sacking shirt and oat cakes" as they say here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NY, NY
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    397
    thx for the good wishes for the sprained ankle. and i'll make ano pitch for icing after every workout for those w PF. really helps keep the inflammation down. my chiro also did massage to keep scar tissue from building up. finally he sent me to a sports podiatrists for inserts. it acts up occasionally but has been very very manageable for the last 5+ years.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Puget Sound area, Washington state
    Posts
    765

    r2maryellen

    hey maryellen - sorry to hear you've got a sprained ankle currently and hope you're back on your bike ASAP...Am assuming that you're still planning on riding ESAR4? I am too and, while we recently had 2 riders drop from our Puget Sound Riders team, per foot injuries, there are still 5 riders and 3 volunteer crew headed from Seattle area to NY in August!
    Hang in there and yes, every injured rider, know and practice and enjoy the benefits of 'ice' therapy and stretching...(from a 'been there, done that' rider here! Knee scope after the Alaska AIDS Vaccine ride a few years ago and foot surgery to transplant a couple of torn tendons during last off-season)...
    Tailwinds!
    Mary

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    30

    Unhappy plantar fasciitis

    Glad to hear its not a stress fracture. Not that Plantar Fasciitis is an easy way out! You might try gel heel inserts (in all footware not just tha bike shoes) and calf and foot stretches definitely help. The natural history is that after 2 years almost all sufferers have recovered. Thanks! If you cannot wait:

    Re surgery: Do not let anyone talk you into having the fascia divided at the heel insertion "to heal up again in a longer position" it will bugger up how your foot works and will be painful (and is archaic). A relatively painless opertion is Posterior tibial nerve release just behind the ankle bone - I have seen it work on most people and they can still walk/run normally after it.

    Good luck. It must be so hard to not be able to do the activities you love. I really sympathise.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NY, NY
    Posts
    397
    r2 MMQFC

    hey Mary, i've got my fingers (or is that my toes?) crossed that i will be able to do ESAR4. the ankle is much improved from a week ago and i figure i'll be ready to get back on the bike next sunday. i'm a bit concerned about being able to get back on my training schedule, but time will tell.

    looking forward to meeting the puget sound contingent in (gulp) less than 9 weeks!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    287
    Thanks Dok-torr! Yikes, two years! I agree with you about the surgery and my podiatrist feels the same way. I think the orthopedic guy was more concerned about the tendon and nerve on the side of my foot.

    I must say that I am stretching and using ice baths on a regular basis these days. Especially yesterday, after doing the Danskin triathlon! I was so happy when the doc gave me the go ahead on Thursday. He did warn me that I was going to be in a world of hurt, but wouldn't do any more damage. I look forward to my pt appointment this week. I only wish I wasn't going out of town for the next three weeks.

    Thanks again.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387
    What really helped my PF was putting my feet up as much as possible, whenever possible, and freezing coke bottles of water and icing, laying down, at least twice a day- like nap time and bedtime. It eventually went away. Oh! And keeping it taped 24 hours a day!! http://heelspurs.com/tape.html

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

 

 

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