Author Topic: Tibial Stress Fracture  (Read 4446 times)


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Tibial Stress Fracture
« on: April 23, 2009, 11:29:26 AM »
Date of Injury: Jam in late March '09 where I was training for an entire afternoon, mostly on concrete.
Time of injury (0:00 to 23:59): Sometime during the afternoon
Your DOB and age: August 15, 1985 - 23 years
name (remember this is the internet, name is helpful but not mandatory): Domenic Rocco. (I never gave myself a nickname)
City, State: Philadelphia, PA
# years practicing Parkour / Freerunning: ~2 years
Hours of training per week. (real, not what you'd like to do): Parkour: 0-5 hours depending on schedule and weather. I spend about an hour each day conditioning or weight training. I take a few days rest here and there.
Other exercise / fitness experience: Nothing out of the ordinary. Weight/resistance training and some cardio. Have been consistently active in that way since my mid-teens.
Location where injury occurred: The injury was gradual. I was participating in a jam in Center City Philadelphia where we trained at the Art Museum, City Hall, and the Franklin Institute. My injury has nothing to do with the spot really. We trained for a long time on hard surfaces and even though I'm probably not the only person guilty of over-training, my over-training resulted in a stress fracture.
 Conditions of location (wet, dark, icy, etc): Dry and sunny
What you were doing / trying to do when injury occurred?: Various vaults. Had been training on concrete over the course of several hours, which can be damaging in itself, but if I had to point the finger at something specific, it was probably a handful of kongs that I did that had about a 4' landing onto concrete on the other side. It's also worth noting that when I take off on one leg, it's always my left (the one with the injury). I believe take offs also played a factor in this injury because punching off of the ground repeatedly with one leg can take its toll. I had no pain until a day or two later.
Where any other people involved?: No
Part of body  - description of injury, rating of severity 1-10.: Distal third of the left tibia. Severity varies. I've seen people say that one rule of thumb for knowing whether you have tendonitis or a stress fracture is whether or not you have pain at rest. That's simply not true. The only things I ran into that irritated it were take offs and landings for vaults or jumps. Particularly, one foot take offs on the injured leg. Those cause it to flare up right away. Severity - I'd say 6. Not the end of the world, just keeps me from vaulting/jumping for a while. Upper body still works great and I'll be focusing on that in the meantime.
Did you see a doctor for diagnosis?: Was given referral for X-Ray and Orthopedist. X-Ray was negative but stress fractures may not be visible on X-Ray until they have been present for a month+. Received MRI, saw orthopedist again, was diagnosed with a stress fracture this morning. I am going to be in an air-cast for at least 4 weeks. I'll eventually get another MRI to make sure it's 100% and then I can start gradually returning to activity.
Did you get X-rays or MRI's?: Both. Don't bother with the X-Ray. It is a waste of time and money. Cut to the chase and get an MRI or bone scan.
Picture of the injury: No.
Could you / how could you have avoided the injury?: This could have definitely been avoided. 1. Softer landings - your drops don't have to be huge to cause gradual damage to your body. 2. Listening to your body is great, but let's face it, sometimes when the adrenaline is pumping, you don't feel things in the moment that you are going to feel the next morning. This is where common sense comes into play. Know what you usually do and use that as a guide when you go out to train. Increase your training by all means, but do so gradually. Don't do a couple light hours one week and then go to a jam and do 5-6 intense hours on concrete. Take breaks. Give yourself rest. Especially if you've had episodes of "shin splints" in the past. In the future, I'm going to call it a day once I feel I've had a good workout and not worry about how long a jam is going on or how long other people want to stay out.
Date / type / severity of your last injury?: I'm grateful to say that I haven't had any other notable injuries. I've had bouts with "shin splints" but they've always gone away after a few days of rest.
Notes on the experience?: For anyone wondering if they have "shin splints" or a stress fracture: If you think it's something more than tendonitis, you're probably right. You've felt one and should know when what you have doesn't feel quite the same. One goes away after a few days of taking it easy, the other lingers. If you're not back to normal after a week of rest, see a sports medicine doctor. I also felt like the pain was coming from the bone as opposed to coming from a sore muscle. I should have seen a doctor earlier than I did. I gave myself 2 weeks of rest. I thought that I might have had a stress fracture but thought it would heal on its own if I stopped training for a few weeks and limited activity on that leg to walking. I felt like I was better after a few weeks. I was able to do some light-medium paced jogging and do "box jumps" up my steps without pain. I even practiced precisions on the wooden trainers I built (courtesy of APK tutorial) without pain. I felt brave and went to the park for some light training. Went for a kong over a picnic table and the injury flared up almost immediately. I feel like I made it worse that day and only prolonged my recovery time. 3 weeks later and I'm finally getting an Aircast, that I'll have to wear for a month and even after that, it'll take time to get back to where I was without ending up back at square one with this injury. This is frustrating on account of how beautiful the weather is getting this time of year. It's also frustrating because I'm never the guy taking huge drops and rushing things that shouldn't be rushed. I'm always working on conditioning and drilling things down and I've still run into these issues. That's just a testament to how demanding what we do really is and how much preparation and conditioning it takes no matter how fit you think you are.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 06:33:40 AM by Dom Rocco »


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Re: Tibial Stress Fracture
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 08:16:29 AM »
This article doesn't make me feel very good about the Aircast I have to wear for another 3+ weeks. Only study on Aircasts I could find that pertained to TSF's and not ankle injuries and it was negative.

Conclusion: The current study demonstrated no added benefit of Aircast leg braces in the treatment of tibial stress fractures in the military training environment.



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Re: Tibial Stress Fracture
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 04:29:42 AM »
I have been in an Aircast for 4 weeks. I was wearing it most of the time, only took it off when lying around or doing minimal walking.
I received an X-ray at the office and I'm apparently healed enough to gradually resume activity.
I'm going to do some rope jumping and jogging over the weekend and see how that feels.
My goal is to get back to some light Parkour training within two weeks or so. I really want to take it slow to avoid re-injury.


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Re: Tibial Stress Fracture
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2009, 08:14:33 AM »
Jumped rope for a bit yesterday and felt good so decided to go for a jog
No pain while jogging
Iced as soon as I got home for safe measure
An hour or two later there was a faint ache that came and went
Could feel it when I walked
Still present when I woke up this morning
Looks like I rushed back once again
Hopefully I didn't set myself back too far this time
Going back to resting and I'm wearing the boot for the rest of the holiday weekend
I'll see how walking without it feels on Tuesday
Either way I'm giving myself at least another month before trying to resume running or anything else and I'm going to insist on getting a follow-up MRI
At this point I am very angry and frustrated with myself and the injury but doing some upper body work a little while ago and hitting a new PR on the bench press has helped my mood a bit

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Re: Tibial Stress Fracture
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2016, 11:02:32 PM »
I wonder how this turned out. I see the OP is a guest now, so maybe they won't come back.

I'm dealing with what I'm pretty sure is a stress fracture now and I'm curious how other people's experiences have gone. I've read up a ton on stress fractures and I understand that they are a pretty common injury among runners and that they don't require a lot of upkeep or special care to heal - just staying off the leg for a few months. I haven't seen a doctor yet because I don't currently have medical insurance and I've read that they would only give me an MRI, which is expensive, and after that all they would tell me to do is what I've already decided to do on my own, which is to stay off the leg for 8 weeks. I know the OP recommends not waiting to see a doctor, but I'm worried about spending a lot of money for a diagnosis and treatment that I probably already know. I'm saving up for my wedding at the end of the year and I'm really broke already.

I probably sustained the stress fracture when I decided to jog to a lake in my city which is much farther than I was used to running. I was trying to build my stamina up for parkour, but I added too much mileage too soon, which is a surefire way to receive a stress fracture.
I just got really heavily into parkour about 8 months ago and I got the stress fracture a couple weeks ago. I really hate not being able to train at my full abilities and it's so hard not to go out and train just a little bit. I'm tempted to do some sort of training on only my left side and see if I could even do that.

Anyway, I plan on staying away from parkour until the beginning of March. In the meantime, I'm going to use crutches and workout my upper body and maybe left leg stuff. Hopefully I'll be okay by then. Most experiences I've found online say the same thing: a low risk stress fracture, such as one on the tibia, will heal with time and rest. All the information I've looked at says it takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to heal completely, so I'm playing it safe and staying off of it for 8 weeks.

If the OP ever sees this, I'd be interested to know what happened with his.