iamdaman
biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/8/2009 12:12PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Allright so I just got diagnosed with a femur stress reaction a week ago and I was wondering if it is ok to bike with this injury. I have tried it a couple of times and even though biking is no impact it puts stress on your quads which I feel can contribute to the occasional pain I feel after biking. I'm guessing the quad contraction puts some stress on the femur. My doc said its ok but i'm just curious if others here who've had the same injury or have extensive knowledge in the area could give me some advice. My question is, is this discomfort ok? Or should I wait until I can bike without feeling any discomfort afterwards? It's very frustrating because I need the exercise, otherwise I go crazy. I just don't want to set my recovery back and want to make sure that biking is not going to do that.
no longer stressed
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/8/2009 2:05PM - in reply to iamdaman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
i had a stress fracture in the shaft of my femur years ago and was able to ride without pain (as long as i kept my butt glued to the bike seat). the trick with any stress fracture -- and i would guess with a stress reaction -- is to not do the things that hurt. if cycling hurts, don't do it; perhaps try swimming or pool running if either of those activities is painfree (and if you can stomach the boredom).
nobitchassness
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/8/2009 10:19PM - in reply to no longer stressed Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
bump
steepletrick
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/9/2009 6:53AM - in reply to iamdaman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
As someone with 3 femoral stress fractures I would highly recommend staying off the bike for a bit and going in the pool. I came back from each fem stress fracture in 6-8 weeks by being overly cautious (aka no bike and using ctutches.). Since it's just a reaction, you may not need to go to those extremes, but I would just go nuts in the pool to be safe.
Mr. Fister
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/9/2009 7:11AM - in reply to steepletrick Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Agreed. Someone who also has had experience with this, you need to not do what hurts it obviously. If you feel any discomfort, im pretty sure that's going to hinder the healing process.
To be safe, swim the sh"t out of yourself until you are able to bike pain/discomfort free. Patience is seriously key.
two time femur breaker
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/9/2009 8:33AM - in reply to iamdaman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I agree with what the other posters told you. If it hurts, even a bit, don't do it. I had two femoral fractures, and I didn't bike with either until after a few weeks of rest. If anything, I'd try to get in the pool for a little bit. If you've only got a stress reaction, then you may be a little better off than I was, but for at least a few weeks, stick to the pool, swimming and water running. You can stay in decent shape if you work hard at it in the pool water running.
iamdaman
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/23/2009 4:32PM - in reply to two time femur breaker Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks for the advice. I've been swimming a lot recently and as a result screwed up my shoulder so I'm gonna have to take some time off from that for the time being. Unfortunately, the spot of the stress reaction still feels a bit sore after pool running a few days (probably due to the muscular contractions in the area), so I'm trying to stay away from that. What do you guys think of walking like an hour a day? I know walking is a bit of impact but I've been doing it for weeks now (never got onto crutches because I could always walk with only minor discomfort at the beginning), but I feel like the muscular contraction around the femur is much more minimal when walking. The thing is I need to do something or else I have trouble falling asleep at night, my body is so used to exercise at this point
two time femur breaker
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/23/2009 6:08PM - in reply to iamdaman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hmm... How about swimming with a kick board??? I am not sure how serious your stress reaction is. The first time I had a stress fracture in the femur the doctor had me on crutches for 6 weeks. So walking at that point was obviously bad. The second stress fracture was further down the femur, and less critical. The doctor told me not to bother with crutches. I think it took me a lot longer to heal. I ended up starting to run again, and re-injured it. If I had gotten on the crutches, it may have healed faster, I don't know.

So... like you said, walking does put impact on the femur. If the muscle contraction from water running is irritating the femur, then I would think walking would be worse.

I'm a mathematician, not a kinesiologist, so I'm not really trained in biomechanics (or spelling) but I would be careful if I were you.

I'd say, try walking 5-10 minutes or so first if you haven't already been doing it. If no problems, try 15-20 minutes. If you can, try to do it on some grass or other soft surface. Avoid sidewalks and roads. Don't just go out and do an hour without building up to it. And I would build up gradually. I don't know, maybe 5 mins per walk per week.

Everyday may be too much also. Maybe mix it in with some kickboard swimming at the pool.

Good luck with the injury.

For what it's worth, I can tell you about my first experience with a femoral stress fracture. Maybe it will help.

I had 6 weeks on crutches. Took about 2 weeks doing nothing (I was depressed and pissed off about being injured, and the doc told me to pretty much lay off everything). Then, I would go to the pool, started off doing 30 mins, worked up to an hour, and even 75 mins. I was in the pool 6 days a week, and did some upper body and core weights and stuff maybe 3 days a week. I'd alternate between swimming and water running. After about 2 weeks of just easy water running I started doing "workouts" in the pool, basically 1-3 min pickups with 30secs - minute recovery.

After about 6 weeks, I started to do some biking to break up the pool. Started with easy biking, 30 minutes or so. After a week, did some intervals on the bike, kept the session to about 30 minutes, maybe up to 3 min pickups. All seated biking on the indoor bike. Kept the resistence light, and the cadence high. gradually built it up, and then switched to some outdoor biking and stuff like that. Also eventually got onto the elliptical, but by then it was nice enough to bike outside, so I prefered to do that.

After about 4 weeks of biking, I started with some running on grass (this is about 10 weeks since the injury.) I followed the advice of a friend who coached D1 and he himself had multiple femoral stress fractures as an athlete. I kept up with the cross training, pretty intense by this point, and started with 3-5 mins of jogging on grass, gradually building up over the next 6 weeks to 40 minutes or so of jogging on the grass, 3-4 times a week.

It was a slow build up, but the cross training will keep you fit. I was originally diagnosed with the stress fracture in February. By July I was doing 10 mile runs. By October, I ran a PR in 8k cross country. By November I ran a decent marathon. I kept it up over the winter, and I thought I was being smart. I ended up setting a huge PR in half marathon in March, and followed that 1 week by another femoral stress fracture, same leg, lower down the shaft of the femur.

Hope your luck is better than mine!
iamdaman
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/24/2009 3:12PM - in reply to two time femur breaker Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
two time femur breaker-
thank you for sharing that. I think I may actually get on crutches for a couple of weeks because I feel like having discomfort on week 6 of my recovery is not good. I don't know how serious the stress reaction is, but I know that it was smack in the middle of the shaft, and the leg dangle test never came back positive and it never got the painful. Based on this logic the doctor I'm seeing didn't think I should bother with the crutches. I feel like it is healing incredibly slowly though, so it looks like I might want to try crutches for 2 weeks or so, then get off the crutches for 2 weeks and start running after 10 weeks off.
two time femur breaker
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 10/24/2009 6:31PM - in reply to iamdaman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
See how it goes. I mean, everyone will heal differently. If you want to try crutches for a few weeks, test it out. Just remember that what ever you do, introduce it gradually. When your femur is ready for some weight bearing exercise, start with the walking, gradually increase, and gradually move into running. You are at the most risk of re-injury when you do something you are not normally used to.

To completely heal you must give your bones some stress. The key is to do enough without doing too much. Because it's when you do too much that you risk re-injury and then a longer downtime. So you don't want to be completely immobile for 10 weeks, that would be counter productive.

That all being said, when I was healing from both fractures I would get some discomfort. Not sharp pain, but a weird tightness feeling, or a dull ache. I still get it during the rain sometimes. So, you need to distinguish between normal healing pains and the sharp shooting pain associated with doing too much and over stressing the leg.

In my cases, the doctors did not have a lot of experience with athletes getting femoral stress fractures. I had to see the doctors at the health services at school first. They then gave me a referral to see the orthopod. I feel like he was more use to dealing with stress fractures in sedentary old women, not mid-20s athletes. If you have the opportunity to see a sports specialist it may help. At least see someone who deals with athletes and specifically runners.

Glad to share my experiences. Hang in there with the injury. You'll be back on the roads in no time, so just hang in there.
liz
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 1/21/2010 11:10PM - in reply to iamdaman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hi iamdaman,

Your situation sounds very similar to mine: I was diagnosed with a mild "stress reaction" in my femur this week . (I was shocked, I've had several stress fractures and I was sure this one was muscle strain - didn't even hurt too bad to run on.)

Doc said to take four weeks off running and bike is okay. Bike felt fine today, but front of thigh is a bit sore tonight.

Anyway, haven't had much luck finding info about stress reactions (tons on stress fractures), but found your post from three months ago. I'm wondering how your recovery is going and if you have any advice for the newly diagnosed.

I hope you are all healed up and back on the road and would be very grateful for any thoughts or advice you'd like to share.

Thanks!
Liz
girl disease
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 1/21/2010 11:42PM - in reply to liz Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
wtf how are there this many femur fractures??? I hope most posters here are men because if you're female getting fractures in the femur, that's bad news. but sorry to hijack the thread. i'd pool run if i were you.
m33m
RE: biking w/ stress reaction in femur, thoughts? 2/21/2012 1:29PM - in reply to liz Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

liz wrote:

Hi iamdaman,

Your situation sounds very similar to mine: I was diagnosed with a mild "stress reaction" in my femur this week . (I was shocked, I've had several stress fractures and I was sure this one was muscle strain - didn't even hurt too bad to run on.)

Doc said to take four weeks off running and bike is okay. Bike felt fine today, but front of thigh is a bit sore tonight.

Anyway, haven't had much luck finding info about stress reactions (tons on stress fractures), but found your post from three months ago. I'm wondering how your recovery is going and if you have any advice for the newly diagnosed.

I hope you are all healed up and back on the road and would be very grateful for any thoughts or advice you'd like to share.

Thanks!
Liz



I have to bike. I can't really swim because I just had the knee scoped.