Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/14/2009 9:02AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I got this diagnosis last Friday: Right sacral ala stress fracture

anyone have this before - if so - how long did it take to recover - I've heard ranged from a typical 4-6 weeks to longer 8-12 weeks because of reduced bloodflow.

Did you do anything different to prevent re-occurance?

For me I thought it was piriformis syndrome for a while and tried to work thru it but never could get it to heal up...
not a coach
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/26/2009 9:48PM - in reply to kayry Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
how does one prevent something like this from happening?
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/26/2009 10:12PM - in reply to not a coach Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Sacral stress fractures heal much slower because it is so difficult to immobilize the effected area. Based on personal experience I would say it takes at least 2 months to 4-6 months in extreme cases. In order to prevent something like this from happening athletes should do a lot of corework. A strong core helps stabilize the area and alleviates some of the stress that the sacrum bears.
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/26/2009 10:25PM - in reply to KA5 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have had what is likely stressed joints, and ligament fractures in my ankle never heal completely. Good luck. It ruined my ability to work out, both physically and emotionally.. the emotional is the worst because i re-injured it several times from things like twisting it in the road on an uneven surface.. the pain is so horrible and shoots pain so long that the memory is in your mind, so you dont run around like before, or even dance! because you fear that terrible pain and swelling.. was on crutches for a very very long time, so long in fact, that muscle atrophied (shortened)and i couldn't put my foot down on the floor to walk,.. it wouldnt reach! the muscle had constricted.
scandinavian runner
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/27/2009 1:16AM - in reply to kayry Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
for me, I took 6 weeks rest then I was fine!
during your break you can you anything in training
that doesnt hurt. dont do too much core work for the first 3-5 weeks..just take it easy.
good luck!
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/27/2009 7:53AM - in reply to kayry Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
i would say the amount of recovery time will depend on how well your body heals, but for me it took about 10-12 weeks. you will still get sore a few weeks or even months out after starting to run again, but you just have to be able to distinguish between muscle soreness and needing to take a few days off type of pain. If you have access to a 4 way hip machine you should definitely use that, but wait till about 8 weeks or so, at least until you have no pain.

it's a tough a painful injury, good luck!!
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/27/2009 8:31AM - in reply to bummer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I had one. About 10-11 weeks to heal for me. I first thought it was my groin. Ran for 1.5 years with some pain then finally took 4 weeks off and did nothing while getting it diagnosed. Then did the elliptical thing for the next 6 weeks or so which didn't seem to bother it. During that time I got my MRI and it concluded that I had a sacral ala sf. That was years ago and no problems since.
Mikey B
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/27/2009 9:03AM - in reply to Pey Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
In August of 2007, I was diagnosed with sacral sfx. As with the other poster, I thought that it was a groin injury/hernia. I continued to run with minimal pain and then believed the injury to be osteitis pubis. The pains would subside with time off, but would return. As the months went on, I noticed some hip pain, which I believed to be some sort of piriformis issue. Stretching, etc. didn't help, but the pain was manageable until I was hobbled on a routine easy run. I couldn't walk very well, much less run. For 2 weeks, I did "test" runs until my final diagnosis. After that, the doctor said 4-6 weeks off. Of course, I wanted to get back to running quickly and counted my 2 previous weeks of "test" runs as time off. Total time out was 6 weeks, but, again, 2 of that was with some activity.
For me, I truly believe that running on cambered/canted/sloped roads did me in. I always ran out and back courses on rural country roads. Of course, the slope of the road was always down, so my left side was always slightly down slope. On the return portion of my run, again, the left side was always down. Can you guess which side the sacral sfx was on, left side. Since, I have changed some courses and have done more core work. 6 weeks should be enough, but be ready for the phantom pains that will accompany you with your return to running.
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/27/2009 11:12AM - in reply to Mikey B Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
In my experience, I've seen some take as little as eight weeks, and as long as 6 months depending on if they sat around or if they tried to take care of the problem. Obviously, initially, rest is good, but after a few weeks, I usually like to see my clients in the gym. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about sacral stress fractures and training. Give it a read:

In climbing the road to the top of the performance mountain, most athletes realize that staying focused and consistent in training help tremendously to get to the top of his personal Everest. Any injury to the athlete, obviously, interferes with the consistency of training and thus makes progress to the top of the road that much more difficult. Recently, Ive begun to see more and more athletes who have suffered from stress fractures to the sacrum and spine, which has led me to search for the causes and how I can go about helping athletes prevent such injuries.

The spinal stress fracture is an interesting animal in that many athletes could have an imaging study done on their lumbar spine and sacrum and have the results come back positive for a stress fracture, however, they feel no pain nor impaired function. Others with a similar injury will be knocked down to their knees in pain with even the smallest impact. The most common location for such fractures seems to be the L5 vertebrae. So how can two athletes have the same injury, but one can train at full strength and the other can barely move pain free? The answer lies in the efficient athlete. The asymptomatic athlete is likely stable in the right places, mobile in the right places, and is efficiently activating the right musculature to accomplish the complex movement pattern known as running. The injured athlete is likely exhibiting the hallmarks of Jandas Lower Crossed Syndrome, which is characterized by tight Rectus Femoris, TFL, Erector Spinae, hamstring, and the short and long adductors while also exhibiting weakness in the Glute complex, Rectus Abdominis, and often the Psoas of runners. Modern society has become a significant contributor to LCS as people are sitting far more than ever before, which leads to significant postural distortion.

How, then, should an athlete go about training to improve efficiency and prevent injury? The best route includes a multi-pronged approach to training. In other words, the days of kicking down the door and just going for a run is over. Instead, the athlete should focus on the following:

* Optimize hip extension range of motion with dynamic movement drills before training.

* Facilitate hip extension by activating the Glute complex first in a simple, isolated scenario which is then progressed into a more complex pattern.

* If determined necessary, activate the Psoas with simple, isolated exercises then progress into more complex tasks.

* Stabilize the lumbar spine with planks, anti-rotational chops and presses, and other abdominal stabilization exercises.

* Foam roll and static stretch the tight tissues following training sessions.

The above training considerations will go a long way in improving form and function while decreasing the likelihood of repetitive stress injury to the lumbar spine.

Until next time, train hard, train smart.

-Carson Boddicker
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 1/27/2009 11:40AM - in reply to kayry Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Brian Diemer (1984 Olympic SC Bronze medalist) had a sacral stress fracture the spring before the '92 Olympics, but he did some extreme pool running for something like 6 or 8 weeks, started running some with 6 weeks before the Olympic trials, did his first barrier hurdle of the season in the prelims, I believe - and then won the trials final and finished 7th in the Olympic final with an 8:16 or something like that.

(There's a crazy story about him doing his training in a book about the top 50 or 100 American distance runners - can't remember the title right now).

If you can tolerate pool running you can do this and actually end up with BETTER aerobic fitness than when you started.
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 4/12/2009 8:16AM - in reply to kayry Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks for all the responses here - this had dropped off the bottom shortly after I posted and I didn't know there was any response. As I googled more stuff on this injury as it seems to have digressed I happenned across this link. Thanks for the input!!

A quick update on me.....3 months since the diagnosis of the SFX in my Sacrum - still not running - in fact it has gotten much worse to the point now I can barely walk. Here's my progression so far.


It just sucks to be me right now...
RE: Stress Fracture - Sacrum - how long to recover? 7/17/2009 11:12AM - in reply to kayry Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was told I had a sacral stress fracture yesterday.

I felt pain in my right buttock for several weeks and thought I had sciatica. However, it was odd that the pain intensified in my right buttock when hopping when my right foot hit the ground. Sciatica pain, from my experience does not intensify while hopping.

Now that I'm on muscle relaxers, the pain in my right buttock has decreased and the most intense pain is in my lower back.

I have a good doctor, but fear if I went to another doctor, they would have dismissed the condition as a muscular or nerve compression problem.

Now, I'm wondering how much time I should rest before I start running again. I wonder if two months will be enough time for the bone to heal.

The doctor told me not to bend my waist at all.

I have a desk job. Is it bad to sit for several hours a day with a sacral injury?

I'm also worried about having more stress fractures. What are the best prevention methods?