Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Femur stress fracture?


So, after the marathon, I developed a pain in my left quad. It was sort of nondescript. It didn't hurt when I rubbed the muscle or stretched, just when I ran on it...especially downhill. I wasn't particularly concerned and assumed it would fix itself as my body adjusted to running in the hills again, after focusing on flat pavement for the marathon. The pain definitely got worse over the past two weeks, but was always really weird. It would hurt horribly, then go away completely, then hurt again...very odd stuff.

About two days ago, I went into super-obsessed research mode and began eliminating the possibilities. Ultimately, I landed on several long LetsRun threads concerning femur stress fractures. Short of an MRI, I'm fairly confident that's what I have right now. Literally, every symptom described fits my situation. I did a self-test where I sat on something high enough to let my leg hang freely, with the edge of the seat just behind my knee. I pressed gently downwards on my knee joint. No pain. Inch by inch, I slid my leg further out on the edge of the seat until I got to a point about 8-inches down from my hip. When I pressed on my knee, this spot in my leg twanged with very sharp pain. Supposedly, this is about as good as it gets diagnosis-wise unless I try to get an MRI done. ...I have no health insurance and the hospital down here still has some of its offices in pole-tents and trailers. I think I'll go with the "Push On Knee" test and leave it at that.

In short, I'm self-diagnosing a femoral stress fracture based on the LetsRun message boards and a test that consists of pushing on my knee. No, I'm not drunk (right now).

I'm pretty sure that the cascade of problems began with the right hamstring. I neglected to take care of it aggressively and continued to run on it even though I knew I was overworking the left leg to compensate. I was lucky to have a couple of years of relative good health (other than the, uh, whole drug addiction thing) so I'm not really bummed at all, I just feel sort of dumb for letting this happen.

This week I'm going to spend some quality time staring at wall in front of the stationary bicycles at the university gym. I lied and said I was a student to get a discount on the membership...because faculty pay more, apparently.

I'm trying to get excited about consistently riding my bicycle again for the first time in several years. It needs a little bit of work, but the alternative is just doing nothing, sitting around drinking beer and getting fat. ...which sounds awesome, actually. It'd go great with my hillbilly mustache and U"S"A hat.

I'm least looking forward to catching up on all the blogs over the next few weeks as everyone in the States starts to ramp up their training in preparation for all sorts of cool events. I'm trying to take a cue from this guy and stay positive and take care of what needs taking of, but if this stress fracture deal ends up taking up to a month or longer to heal...well, let's not think about that, eh?

In running news, I had a couple of decent weeks pushing through the leg pain, but it clearly wasn't worth it. Quim has returned to Spain, which is a bummer because now I don't have anyone to train with and it means I'll have to go to the mall to watch Barcelona by myself, getting drunk at the food court and yelling at the TV 60 ft. away.

Ok, well, this has all been very boring for me, I can't imagine how boring it must have been for anyone who tried to read this, BUT, I know I'll find it interesting one day when I look back on it. Maybe .

Also, I'm currently tied for first in the first-ever ultrarunning fantasy something-something? Which is awesome.

To any of you who dare to compete with me in this fantastical thing of online fantasy wildness and dreams, I say unto thee: BRING IT, MOTHERFUCKER.


JB said...

"Should heal in a month... right?" is a scary thought... I had a stress fracture in my lower back from running incorrectly in high school track, and it took literally 6 months to be able to run (or wake up, for that matter) without feeling it. Then again, that was fairly close to my central nervous system or whatever, so maybe you'll have a better time. In any case, biking >>>>> wishful thinking.

P. said...


GZ said...

So how do you think you developed this stress fracture? I ask because there are folks who clearly think these things happen because of a weakening of the skeletal system and then some combination of events to drive that break ... OR ... some blunt trauma event.

P. said...

if i had to sherlock holmes this one, i'd say it had something to do with the switch from strictly trail running to suddenly strictly pavement running...the change from erratic strides, often uphill so less impact, whereas the pavement is more repetitive and the impacts more consistent. what i think drove this to cause a stress fracture is the hamstring issue i was trying to ignore. so, i was out pounding the roads all lopsided. i dunno. does my skeletal system really get weaker in my late 20's? i mean, damn.

JB said...

babe - lucky for you, you're a) a man and b) not even 30. men have better bone density throughout their lives - less propensity for osteoporosis - and it's unlikely anything would weaken too much unless you've had a severe Ca or D deficiency. you will heal!!

P. said...

"lucky for me, I'm a man" is exactly what i shout upon waking up every morning.

RUNssel said...

Street fracture? Your kidding!

Get this shit fixed until I show up!

P. said...

I'm working on it! The finest doctors in chile are currently doing everything they can to heal my leg. Unfortunately, they tell me there is little hope until a fresh shipment of newt's eyes, chicken bones, and panther fangs arrive.