Stress Fracture Tibia

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INJURY TITLE

Stress Fracture Tibia

 

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

An incomplete crack in the bone at the front of your shin.  Usually from excessive completion of an activity (running) with poor technique, footwear, or training. 

During walking and running, excessive forces can be placed through the shin bone.  Also several muscle attach to the bone and when the contract they apply a pulling force to the bone.  The accumulation of this can result in a stress fracture over time.  Many runners will experience pain for a long time but ignore it.  It is unlikely that everyone of them have a stress fracture at this point, but it is very likely that if shin pain is ignored, it can lead to as stress fracture after a while.  This is because the aggravating factor is not removed and the bone cannot cope with the excessive forces.

 

Arising from overuse, most stress fractures are located on the inside border of the shin bone.  The pain can be very severe, and will make it impossible to carry on with activities.  Although the bone is broken, it is not the same as a traumatic fracture of the bone.  The bone integrity is not so badly affected, but if left untreated that could change.

 

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Gradual onset of shin pain aggravated by weight bearing (exercise and walking).Pain can also be found in the calf

Pain is made worse by touching the area and weight bearing.

 

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

Clinical questioning is usually enough to highlight the condition as a possible cause of pain. 

Clinical examination to rule out other causes of pain.  This will include observation of the area, palpation (touching) any acute pain sites, and functional testing.  It is very common that pain is localised over a very specific area.

 

MRI or bone scan could be needed to diagnose the fracture size and establish a prognosis.

 

 

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

Initial rest (possible non weight bearing if required) from the aggravating activity to help with healing, and prevent the stress fracture from developing into a full fracture.It is likely that you will be on crutches for a number of weeks.

 

Only when pain free, is a gradual return to activity is needed.  This is usually done under the supervision of your physiotherapist.

 

Treatment of any biomechanical causes (including the provision of orthotics and strengthening exercises) can help enormously with such injuries.

 

 

 

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X MEDIC     X PODIATRY     

 

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