I am a distance runner and running at a collegiate level. During the first part of Cross Country season I was diagnosed with a femoral stress fracture which took me out for the season. As femoral stress fractures go, it was not a bad one. I was on crutches for several weeks and have gotten back on a routine the athletic trainer has advised - I started slow and am now only cleared to run 20 minutes two days on and one day off and I have not been running on pavement. My problem is that my femur still hurts - but I want to start running more - I want to be back in distance shape for Track season but I am scared of making it worse. I am not sure why it still hurts, maybe the cold? But am I in danger of making it worse if I continue to run?
There are two types of femoral neck stress fractures. Compression (superior surface) fractures are stable and usually usually heal with 12 to 16 weeks of rest and protected weight bearing with crutches Tension (inferior surface) fractures are unstable and are usually fixed surgically to hold the bones in place to prevent displacement before bony union occurs.
From the sound of things, it would appear that your fracture was the compression type. If the pain is persistant, then it might be a good idea to stop running and have a CAT scan to evaluate the fracture for adequate healing to continue activity. Usually after healing a gradual running program is started, with no more than10% increase in milage per week. A PT program with a emphasis on core strengthening is also usedful. Doing too much too quickly, can cause reinjury. If there is no evidence of healing, then either further rest is warranted, or consideration for surgical stabilization may be an alternative.
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