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  • Bone Scan - Shin splints???

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    Old 05-12-2004, 03:27 PM   #1
    bringontherain's Avatar
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    Bone Scan - Shin splints???

    I had a bone scan last week, and met with the doctor today to view the results. I definitely have a stress fracture in my lower left tibia, shin bone. It showed up as a big absolute black area, like colored in with black marker. The doctor said it should heal on its own without treatment, as long as I don't run on it. Actually, walking/running doesn't hurt it at all, only side-impact like when my little girl steps on it when we're playing. Anyway, it should heal on its own, okay...

    Besides the absolute black area (stress fracture), most of both tibia bones were also black, like colored with black crayon, instead of gray/white. He said he called this shin splints. Huh? I thought shin splints were a temporary pain caused by walking. I have certainly experienced them before, quite intensely, but not in the past year! I've been walking quite a bit with no "shin splints" or pain at the fracture site either.

    He, the orthopedic specialist, seemed to be in a hurry. He said if the fracture area didn't seem to heal, I was to come back in a few weeks. I was going to ask him what he meant by "shin splints," and if there was anything I could be doing to help these bones... but he was suddenly out the door. Grrrr.

    I am having a bone density scan tomorrow, to check for osteoporosis, as I've used prednisone extensively over the past ten years for asthma. I also use thyroid supplements, and osteoporosis runs in my family. Last year while I was pregnant I had stress fractures in my metatarsals. I would like to know what's going on with my bones!

    Thanks, anyone, if you can tell me why my shin bones were black ("shin splints") and anything I can do to help my stress fracture heal, etc. I suppose if the bone density scan shows osteoporosis, I will be given further consultation. ...Meanwhile I'm just frustrated.

    Last edited by bringontherain; 05-12-2004 at 03:32 PM.

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    Old 06-08-2004, 09:28 PM   #2
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    Re: Bone Scan - Shin splints???

    I had a problem with shin splints for two years while running cross country quite intensely. My first thought was the same as yours - I thought shin splints were just a pressure on your shin that hurt temporarily and then it'd go away. Well, apparently they are more serious than we all thought. Both of my inner tibias have formed several bumps along the bone caused from all of my running and overpronating. I had a bone scan done as well because of the severe pain I felt when running/walking, but they had luckily not formed stress fractures quite yet. My suggestion to you is to take 1-2 months off from running - if you are an avid runner like I am, this will sound like the worst punishment ever, but trust me you'll feel better in the long run once your bones heal. Instead of running, I swam laps, rode my bike, rollerbladed, and walked. I also made sure to "massage" the hurt area with an ice cube every day and take Advil to relieve the pain. Another suggestion is to make sure you stretch your calves out A LOT as this strengthens your lower leg muscles and will prevent future shin splits - do "toe ups"...Stand on the stairs, with just your toes on the edge of a step and your heel hanging off. Press up onto your toes until you feel your calves tighten, hold for a few seconds, and release. Repeat this for 15-25 reps at a time, and then you can use the step to stretch your calves afterward by pushing down with your heel on the step. You may also want to check out some new running shoes (Brooks "Adrenaline" saved me from shin splints) and I also got fitted for orthotics to put in my running shoes. Orthotics are pricey, but they last for years and after a while you get so used to them that any shoe without them is uncomfortable. But, go to a specialized running store or clinic and have your running form looked at by a pro. I hope this all helps - just remember to rest enough, otherwise the pain will get much worse! Good luck.

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