These are NO joke.
I'm sure you've heard horror stories of the dreaded walking boot, really long rehab times, and even re-injuries.
And you so desperately don't want this to be you!
The good news: it doesn't have to be.
Yes, even the scary return-to-run process doesn't have to be terrifying.
Let me skip to the good part real fast:
Getting back to running is all about slow, gradual, pain-free running.
It's that simple.
But I'm jumping ahead of myself (what else is new...).
Let's talk about what to expect from your rehab process.
Let's talk about your comeback after this foot stress fracture!
Because often, it's way less scary and a lot more manageable when you have a plan.
Or at least a couple bullet points even if you don't have the full picture.
Let's dive in, running fit fam.
Low Risk vs. High Risk?
First thing's first…
You're going to need to clarify with your healthcare provider (PA, Ortho surgeon, physician, podiatrist, whomever diagnosed you) whether you have a low risk or a high risk stress fracture.
It gets technical because the rating depends on which surface of the bone is fractured, which bone is involved, etc.
Examples of high risk: superior cortex of the femoral neck and the anterior (front) cortex of the tibia.
The point is:
If you have a high risk stress fracture, this blog post isn’t for you right NOW. You've got a different rehab journey to go on before you get to the following stages we'll talk about below.
But when it comes to low risk BSI's (bone stress injuries) and stress fractures, things might not be as bad as you think.
There's actually more evidence coming out about how you *might* be able to skip the ugly boot! (but more on that later…)
Examples of low risk: tibial and metatarsal BSI's that occur on the compressive surfaces of the bone, namely the posterior and dorsal cortex.
See how this gets detailed and nuanced pretty fast, even with a LOW risk bone stress injury? That's why we're going to have the major disclaimer/come-to-Jesus meeting…
DO NOT REHAB A STRESS FRACTURE ON YOUR OWN.
And…I will not help you rehab a stress fracture over an email correspondence or IG DM. You can ask questions; please do! (Because knowledge is power…and that's how you Dare to Train Differently.)
Is all that pretty blunt and harsh sounding?
It is. (mid-western "ope" and apology for sounding so mean)
But it's because YOU deserve the BEST!
You deserve excellent medical care.
You deserve to have a healthcare team on your side that walks with you through this rehab process.
And you deserve to run pain free.
So please, don't do this alone.
With the not-fun part out of the way, let's talk more about what you CAN do, even with a foot stress fracture.
Phase 1. It's All About Load