A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a tibial stress fracture, and I was pretty bummed out about it. My initial visit to my orthopedist was the second week in June, and he’d told me then and there to stop running and stop spinning. I’d honestly thought that he’d say it’d all been nothing and give me the okay to hit the treadmill and spin bike again after our follow up appointment set for the last week of June.
Instead, he showed me this:
That little shadow along the left side of my bone is a (partially healed) stress fracture. My ortho told me to continue to avoid running for at least another 6 weeks, if not 8 weeks. He also told me to use pain as my guide when trying out alternative activities; for example, spinning had been causing pain, so I had to stop doing that after our first appointment.
I’ve been swimming 2-4 days a week pretty consistently since the beginning of June to keep my fitness levels up, and I reduced weight bearing activities as much as I could as well. This has helped significantly; I haven’t noticed any definitive pain in my shin for several weeks now!
I tried out a spin class this week, as well, since it’s been over a month since I last hopped on a stationary bike. I kept it at a pretty low resistance and wasn’t bashful about sticking to the seat when the rest of the class was doing jumps. My leg felt great the next day, and the next, so I took another spin class yesterday morning! SO EXCITED TO HAVE SPIN BACK IN MY LIFE!!
I’ve also been doing some Yoga and Barre classes at my local studio, as well as some barre-inspired workouts at home. Barre is awesome since I’m focusing on strengthening my core, glutes and hips going forward, so that my legs are more supported as a whole once I return to running.
Speaking of returning to running, I recently stumbled upon this article about how to use pain to guide your return to running. I love the flowchart that shows how to assess whether or not you need more recovery time.
I’m hoping to (slowly) run a 5 or 10k in mid September as my grand re-entry into the world of running, and chances are I will be following the five week return-to-running plan mapped out in this article starting in mid August. I officially stopped running on June 5th, so I’ll have taken a full 9 weeks off at this point.
ALSO: I was asked to participate in a clinical study on how the tibia bone re-structures itself and heals, so I was able to meet with the doctors in charge of the study and learn a little more about the healing process this past week. As it turns out, tibial stress fractures have been a huge challenge for many women, especially military recruits. As a result, the study I’m a part of will take multiple CT Scans and bone scans of my leg as it heals in order to better assess how the recovery process works. I’m from a medical family, and I’ve participated in clinical studies in the Boston area before. I think it’s so important for people to take the time to be a part of these studies; they’re what makes health care get stronger and stronger.
So, thats the update!
let me know if you have any tips or advice for me in the comments box:)