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Don't miss the signs of a stress fracture

OrthoCincy surgeon specializing in foot & ankle surgery (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - There is a warning from orthopaedic surgeons if you are in pain after participating in the Flying Pig Marathon, or any amount of running.

A lot of runners and walkers trained for weeks, and if you aren't careful that can put additional strain on your bones.

The team at OrthoCincy says it's not uncommon for a lot of people to be hurting from stress fractures and not even know it.

“A stress fracture is a broken bone, that people think happens for no reason,” said Dr. Nick Gates, who is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle surgery. “Typically, it doesn't happen all of the sudden, it's something that gradually develops with kind of a nagging mild pain first and later becomes more significant.”

It's not uncommon for people to have these injuries happen this time of year after a big race due to one of two reasons.

“Either you have a normal bone subject to an intense amount of stress, extra stress compared to normal. 'I didn't used to run and now I run a lot,'” said Dr. Gates. “Or you did normal activity and you have a metabolic or problem with your bone, osteoporosis being the most common.”

Extra stress on the bone, for either of those two reasons, can lead to a crack or a stress fracture.

When you have a stress fracture and that bone breaks, you need treatment, and the only way to get that fracture to heal is to lessen the load. That's done with various types of braces, casts, walking boots, sometimes crutches, depending on the body part.

Typically, it's rest from that stress, and that allows the bone to heal and get back to normal.

If you are in pain right now, you should get a stress fracture diagnosed. If you have an imaging test that rules it in or out, you then know how to move forward in your training.

If it is linked to a metabolic program the earlier that is treated the better for future training efforts, also.

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