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Old 08-27-2011, 10:08 AM   #1
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MRI showed "99% healed" calcaneal stress fracture---can I walk on it?

I stress fractured BOTH of my heels in March after running in barefoot shoes. My latest MRI (of my right foot) states that the sfx is "99% healed." My doc told me I should be walking--but my pain and swelling (both feet feel the same) are really bad when I try and walk normally. I'm so scared of reinjuring myself, but is that even possible with a sfx that is pretty much healed? Can I walk without fear of reinjuring myself, even though walking is painful?

 
Old 08-27-2011, 11:49 AM   #2
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Re: MRI showed "99% healed" calcaneal stress fracture---can I walk on it?

Believe it or not, once a fracture is that close to healed, weight bearing can actually help to strengthen it and complete the healing process. Do wear appropriate footwear and avoid jumping or anything that might cause trauma to the heels, but if the doctor says it's time to walk, you can begin.

Now, the process of learning to walk again is somewhat painful, and having 2 injured feet makes it harder. Are you in PT? Did the doctor discuss using crutches/cane/walker while you transition back to walking?

 
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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Re: MRI showed "99% healed" calcaneal stress fracture---can I walk on it?

Thank you. Just those few, simple sentences you wrote eased my mind SO much. That really makes sense. I know at this point from the MRIs that the bones are going to heal fully, but I have to continually reassure myself that walking through the pain (and I walk very slowly and gently) is okay.

Yes, I am in PT--I'm actually going to two separate therapists and have been since last month. I realize I should have been in PT MUCH sooner, though, but my first doc wasn't the greatest and didn't even suggest it. I love going and also doing the stretches at home; it feels so great to be doing something, anything, to improve this. I also just started swimming, which again I should have been doing much sooner.

Instead of using a cane or walker, I'm just walking reallllly slowly and carefully--basically at the pace of my ninety year old grandma Even that leads to pain and pockets of swelling next to my heels that never seem to go away. It basically hurts more now that it did at the very beginning of this process. My doc is having me go see a neurosurgeon to rule out possible back/nerve issues. An MRI of my back showed a small herniation and anular tear in the region that relates to the feet, so it's a possibility.

I can't believe I did this to myself by running in barefoot shoes. I never had a sports injury in my life before this, and now I've been in a wheelchair for nearly five months! I'll have to search this forum for other people who've done too much too fast in those shoes...

 
Old 08-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #4
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Re: MRI showed "99% healed" calcaneal stress fracture---can I walk on it?

What the person who sold you those shoes didn't tell you is that to run in them, you need to learn to run all over again. You must not strike the ground with your heel if your heel isn't padded, you have to land on the ball of the foot and let the foot flex to absorb the shock.

Yup, the swelling is nasty. Keep the feet elevated as high as possible, and maybe ask the doctor about compression stockings. After my knee injury, I also found that a hot shower immediately followed by ice was a good way to move the swelling down.

 
Old 08-27-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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Re: MRI showed "99% healed" calcaneal stress fracture---can I walk on it?

I asked my doc, after the Xray if I would fracture it again. He said yes, if your in another bad accident.

Pain is just pain. If the bone is healed your healed. Obviously you don't want to over do it, it will cause to lose progress, by being laid up. But IMO you got to push and get out there.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:22 PM   #6
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Re: MRI showed "99% healed" calcaneal stress fracture---can I walk on it?

You might want to take some ibuprofen at this point. It works well for bone pain and won't impede healing at this stage. No need to suffer. Wear shoes with good support and cushioning.I would personally never run in barefoot shoes, no matter what "people" say,especially if you have high arched feet. Not everything is good for everybody and some people have denser bones than others.

 
Old 08-31-2011, 02:23 PM   #7
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Re: MRI showed "99% healed" calcaneal stress fracture---can I walk on it?

Sorry--power was out for the past few days. Thanks for your suggestions. I love the hot shower followed by ice combo.

What's really frustrating is that my feet are now completely intolerant of shoes--any shoes. Regardless of the cushioning (and I just bought a pair of very supportive sneakers), I can only walk barefoot without pain. Trying to walk in shoes produces serious pain, while walking barefoot around my house is almost painless at this point, a big improvement from even a few days ago. I've tried every pair of supportive shoes I own and the result is the same. Sigh. It looks like the same shoes that caused my injury are the only ones my feet will tolerate!

In a way, this kind of makes sense--after all, it's not like we evolved to walk in shoes. But as Indaslot mentioned, I do have high arches (and probably not the densest bones) that make running barefoot, especially without slowly working up to running long distances, such a bad idea. When it comes to walking, though, it looks like I'm sticking with barefoot for now.

 
Old 08-31-2011, 09:35 PM   #8
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Re: MRI showed "99% healed" calcaneal stress fracture---can I walk on it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbinna View Post
What's really frustrating is that my feet are now completely intolerant of shoes--any shoes.
You need to be rubbing your feet, to get them used to being touched again. That is something we really don't bring up much and should.

I was excited to get permission to bear weight. Some people seem to be afraid, but I couldn't wait. Granted, this is just the first step. ha.
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