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the long road
Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 1:24AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Ok, so I've searched all the old related threads, and I'm hoping to get some more specific feedback on this. Have any of you dealt with foot stress fractures and the subsequent scar tissue once you start up again? Total time off from running has been about 8 weeks. Total time of complete foot rest (ie only pool running) has been the past 6 weeks. I've run the past 3 days, 15, 20, and 20 mins. No pain or discomfort walking, etc., but I'm definitely feeling something in the fracture area when I run. Not pain, but just sort of an aching feeling, maybe slightly sore. Pretty much goes away after I finish and ice the foot. Anybody have some experience with this type of thing? I'm hoping it's just scar tissue breaking up, but I'm not really sure what to expect with that. How long does that last? Do I need to take is easy until I don't feel anything at all in the foot?

Thanks in advance for any help. I would really appreciate any feedback you have.
perspective
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 9:06AM - in reply to the long road Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It's normal to feel some slight ache in stress fracture area as you return to action.

However, six weeks is not that much time off for a stress fracture in the foot. Ten to twelve weeks is often needed. So, for my two cents, I would urge you to be very careful at this point in the game. I would say, take a couple of days off again, and then do 15 minutes and see if the foot feels distinctly better. If not, then I would question whether you are really good to go.

Every case is unique, so you can't go too much by what other people have done or experienced. I've coached dozens of people who came back from stress fractures and the normal time goes something like 8-10 weeks off, 4 weeks doing limited running, and 4 weeks or so of almost full training. If you can work hard in the pool, you can still do full performance running within 4 weeks of resuming hard running. I've seen guys set pb's within a month of full training following stress fractures, but the key was that they worked the alternative training hard.
rippy cripple
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 9:40AM - in reply to perspective Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I took 8 weeks off. When I started back, my foot would be sore after a run. Over time, I would have to run harder and farther to feel the soreness until it eventually went away. It was 3 or 4 months after running until I was completely pain free. The last month or so, I would only feel it a little after a race.
BA
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 11:17AM - in reply to the long road Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
yeah that is completely normal to feel that. i'm just coming back from a tibial now and i sometimes feel the pain in the area, but the key for me (as i interpret it) is i can press on the bone itself and not feel the pain. that shows me that its tissue, not the bone itself. you can also try taking just like one advil before a run, that will keep the inflammation in the area down and you probably wont feel any pain at all.

really watch how quickly you ramp up those runs though... i've come back from two SF's now and the system that worked for me is something like this:

week 1 - every other day, 15 mins
week 2 - every other day, 15 mins
week 3 - every other day, 20 mins
week 4 - 2 out of 3 days, 20 mins
week 5 - 2 out of 3 days, 25 mins
week 6 - 2 out of 3 days, 30 mins

reevaluate from there... it sounds painfully slow but you really gotta start back slowly, these are very serious injuries. you gotta give the area time to recuperate after you go back to the pounding of running, especially the first few weeks.
the long road
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 11:35AM - in reply to rippy cripple Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks for the advice, BA. I think the bone has healed, as it doesn't bother me in other aspects (just during the run).

ripply- did yours hurt during the run or only afterwards?

Thanks everyone.
gatorxc
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 1:24PM - in reply to the long road Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
weapon X
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 9:57PM - in reply to BA Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

BA wrote:

yeah that is completely normal to feel that. i'm just coming back from a tibial now and i sometimes feel the pain in the area, but the key for me (as i interpret it) is i can press on the bone itself and not feel the pain. that shows me that its tissue, not the bone itself. you can also try taking just like one advil before a run, that will keep the inflammation in the area down and you probably wont feel any pain at all.


reevaluate from there... it sounds painfully slow but you really gotta start back slowly, these are very serious injuries. you gotta give the area time to recuperate after you go back to the pounding of running, especially the first few weeks.


If the bone is healed and the are of the fracture is supposed to be stronger than it was before, what are the chances of reinjuring the fracture? I'm confused on this point. It seems like if the bone has healed, then it would be difficult to aggravate the old fracture. I can see easing back into training for the sake of other possible overuse injuries, but what are the chances you reinjure the same bone?
flightless
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 11:08PM - in reply to perspective Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Depends where that stress fracture of the foot is. I had a 5th metatarsal fracture and was off 7 weeks. There was about a month where there was a feeling of swelling after runs and that diminished pretty rapidly.

Keep taking the advil, and press gently on the area of the fracture. If you can't feel anything, then it's a tissue issue. A stress fracture feels quite painful to even light pressure.
the long road
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 11:18PM - in reply to flightless Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

flightless wrote:

Depends where that stress fracture of the foot is. I had a 5th metatarsal fracture and was off 7 weeks. There was about a month where there was a feeling of swelling after runs and that diminished pretty rapidly.

Keep taking the advil, and press gently on the area of the fracture. If you can't feel anything, then it's a tissue issue. A stress fracture feels quite painful to even light pressure.


So you felt the swelling after runs. How about during your runs? It's definitely not pain for me, but it's something.

My fracture was in the 4th metatarsal, so it's probably fairly similar to your 5th m fracture.

Thanks.
vic968
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 11:22PM - in reply to the long road Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
i had the same thing go on a few years ago. i only took off 4 weeks because i wanted to get back in it to run my championship meet. it had healed completely (5th metatarsal sf) but runs were extremely painful and i tried to stay only on grass as much as possible. if i were you, i would try to massage the area where you feel the scar tissue--like if you're sitting around watching tv, or in the car, etc. also, keep icing it after you run so you can increase the blood flow and help that scar tissue to break away. just be smart with your training. you'll have to cross train a lot right now to supplement your training and to stay in shape. just take it slow and listen to your body. you'll be close to 100% in a couple months. best wishes!!
the long road
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 11:28PM - in reply to vic968 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

vic968 wrote:

i had the same thing go on a few years ago. i only took off 4 weeks because i wanted to get back in it to run my championship meet. it had healed completely (5th metatarsal sf) but runs were extremely painful and i tried to stay only on grass as much as possible. if i were you, i would try to massage the area where you feel the scar tissue--like if you're sitting around watching tv, or in the car, etc. also, keep icing it after you run so you can increase the blood flow and help that scar tissue to break away. just be smart with your training. you'll have to cross train a lot right now to supplement your training and to stay in shape. just take it slow and listen to your body. you'll be close to 100% in a couple months. best wishes!!


Thanks for the feedback. I'm encouraged to hear from another person who didn't miss miss 9-12 weeks from a metatarsal stress fracture. I'm thinking my 8 weeks off is probably good. Been doing a ton of cross training, so I'm still in decent shape... it's just that I don't want to run on this thing if it's not completely healed. I guess I'll continue to ease into it for a couple more weeks...
another casualty of foot
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 11:31PM - in reply to vic968 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

vic968 wrote:

i had the same thing go on a few years ago. i only took off 4 weeks because i wanted to get back in it to run my championship meet. it had healed completely (5th metatarsal sf) but runs were extremely painful and i tried to stay only on grass as much as possible. if i were you, i would try to massage the area where you feel the scar tissue--like if you're sitting around watching tv, or in the car, etc. also, keep icing it after you run so you can increase the blood flow and help that scar tissue to break away. just be smart with your training. you'll have to cross train a lot right now to supplement your training and to stay in shape. just take it slow and listen to your body. you'll be close to 100% in a couple months. best wishes!!


Wow. 4 weeks off is pretty short for a 5th metatarsal fracture. Before you started running again, what did your foot feel like? Was there any sensation in your foot when you walked on it, or did you not feel anything at all? I don't feel any pain or discomfort, but in certain pressure positions I feel some sort of sensation.
another casualty of foot
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/21/2007 11:41PM - in reply to another casualty of foot Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Here's another question- icing helps with the scar tissue. Would it make any difference with a stress fracture? It would reduce the inflammation in the surrounding tissue, but it would still hurt, whereas if it was only an issue with scar tissue then the icing would pretty much alleviate any discomfort. Any thoughts?
flightless
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/22/2007 12:29AM - in reply to the long road Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
A little bit of feeling during runs, which was mostly swelling. It didn't feel painful on contact or push-off from the ground, so I took that to be a good sign. The swelling issue is alleviated a bit by wearing slightly looser shoes. Don't wear spikes for a few weeks!

Once I realized that it was swelling, not the s.f. recurring I was fine with it, and the swelling dissipated pretty rapidly for me (4 weeks). Interested to hear others had much longer. The doctor told me that the scar tissue breaks up a little with weight-bearing exercise, and because your foot (as opposed to shin) makes ground contact it breaks up quicker in there.

My main problem was I'd done 7 weeks very good pool training, and I got back and was way more aerobically fit than "leg fit" That has taken another month to get back into balance. Lotsa grass and then trails so slow transition back to roads and track.
sjc
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/22/2007 12:50AM - in reply to flightless Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
well i had 5 weeks off from a 4th metatarsal SF and i resumed running with little to no problems other than being hypersensitive to the area. i never experienced any swelling or pain but did have some weird feelings in the area from time to time. even now 7 months removed i still will get a strange feeling (maybe once a week) in my foot that is really difficult to describe but it is definitely not painful. so maybe it is just scar tissue or something.
el troll
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/22/2007 12:54AM - in reply to sjc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

sjc wrote:

well i had 5 weeks off from a 4th metatarsal SF and i resumed running with little to no problems other than being hypersensitive to the area. i never experienced any swelling or pain but did have some weird feelings in the area from time to time. even now 7 months removed i still will get a strange feeling (maybe once a week) in my foot that is really difficult to describe but it is definitely not painful. so maybe it is just scar tissue or something.


How quickly did you build back up again? Did you run every other day, or did you jump right in?
sjc
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/22/2007 1:04AM - in reply to el troll Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
5 days/week for 2 weeks, 6 days/week for 2 weeks, then a normal routine but just lower miles. started doing workouts after about 10 weeks.
rippy cripple
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/22/2007 12:08PM - in reply to sjc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
My foot would mostly hurt very late into the run or after I stopped. It would take longer each time out before it would hurt. By the end, it only hurt after running a hard race.
vic968
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/22/2007 1:30PM - in reply to another casualty of foot Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
yeah it did hurt to the touch when i started running. it hurt pretty stinkin' bad when i ran, so i only ran every other day and supplemented with tons of elliptical. i would say, just pay close attention to it--if the dr. okayed running, you should be fine because the bone has healed. it's virtually impossible to break a bone again since it builds up calcium deposits. however, if you experience pain while running which makes you limp, i would take a few extra days off. if the area isn't really swollen, the calcium deposits may cause extra pressure and therefore pain. icing can help with discomfort, so can advil (up to 4 pills, 3 times a day is prescription strength). unfortunately, i never really was able to run well until i took time off after the championships and built my base back up because i lost a lot of fitness... if i could do it again, i would pool run much more, along with the elliptical. anyway, ask more questions if you need to!
the long road
RE: Scar tissue post stress fracture 7/22/2007 3:21PM - in reply to vic968 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

vic968 wrote:

yeah it did hurt to the touch when i started running. it hurt pretty stinkin' bad when i ran, so i only ran every other day and supplemented with tons of elliptical. i would say, just pay close attention to it--if the dr. okayed running, you should be fine because the bone has healed. it's virtually impossible to break a bone again since it builds up calcium deposits. however, if you experience pain while running which makes you limp, i would take a few extra days off. if the area isn't really swollen, the calcium deposits may cause extra pressure and therefore pain. icing can help with discomfort, so can advil (up to 4 pills, 3 times a day is prescription strength). unfortunately, i never really was able to run well until i took time off after the championships and built my base back up because i lost a lot of fitness... if i could do it again, i would pool run much more, along with the elliptical. anyway, ask more questions if you need to!


Thanks for the info. I think I'm on top of it after hearing what you guys had to say and doing some more research on things. Sounds like you were able to run through it while it was still healing. I'll continue with the pool running and elliptical while I start to build up the running. Thanks for all the useful posts on this thread, guys.
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