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Possible Stress Fracture..? Maybe shin splints..?

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Old 06-20-2010, 11:32 AM   #1
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Possible Stress Fracture..? Maybe shin splints..?

Hi all,

I am a 20 year old male, have been active all my life and have never had problems with shin splints or stress fractures. A little over 2 months ago I bought new shoes, ran in then 4 or 5 times, and hurt the medial part of my shins pretty bad. At its worst, it would hurt randomly when I'd walk on them, but generally I am ok with walking on them-- lately they only hurt after I run (but not while I'm running). The pain actually went away a few weeks ago and then I started running again and now they hurt. The problem is, I am supposed to leave for basic training in 6 weeks.

This would seem to be the symptoms of shin splints, not a stress fracture. However, my tibia only hurts in one localized spot, and it is fairly tender to the touch. Also, there is no swelling or discoloration. I haven't run for 3 days and it seems to be getting a little bit better each day. I had an x-ray done which showed a possible problem with my tibia, so then I went for a bone scan which came back negative-- which makes me feel like it's NOT a stress fracture. However, why is this pain so localized, and why after 2 months am I still feeling it? Does anyone have any idea what this could be? Will I be ready for basic in 6 weeks? Thanks for all your help!

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Old 06-21-2010, 07:53 AM   #2
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Re: Possible Stress Fracture..? Maybe shin splints..?

I'm so sorry about this! I have had my share of issues related to running, and unfortunately shoes can definitely play a big part in it. I had possible stress fractures about a year ago, and it took at least 6 months for my legs to feel normal again. It's definitely very hard to be able to tell for sure if it's stress fractures. Since yours is localized and you have some of the symptoms, it's still a possibility that it is a stress fracture and it's just small enough to not show in a bone scan. I've heard of this happening... and sometimes if not treated, it can worsen and THEN will show.

Meanwhile, I would definitely look into those shoes, especially since you leave for training soon! Did you ever use any other brands in the past that didn't cause problems? I use Asics a lot because they fit me pretty well, but sometimes I do need inserts for my arches. I had the issues with my foot with Nikes. The shoes seem to fit fine and were comfortable, yet I guess they just weren't the right match since they cause the issues.

Also, would it be possible for you to do lower impact exercise for the 6 weeks before your training? This will help give yourself some time to heal, yet still stay active. When I had issues with my lower legs, I took a break from running and used the elliptical machine. Since the elliptical is easier for me, I did more miles on it to make it a little more challenging. I'm doing this again actually. I tend to get some kneecap pains from running. I think the underlying cause was weak hip muscles, but even though I've been working on this, my knees still get sensitive, which is why I'm giving them a bit of a break!

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