Seven weeks ago I suffered a stress fracture of the third metatarsal in my
right foot...my orthopedic said it should take about six weeks and I should
be able to start running again...the sharp pain is gone but I still have a
generalized dull pain in that foot...do I wait until the pain is completely
gone or can I start again now (do I risk another injury?)...Thanks...
Jim, the bone is essentially healed after six weeks. This means that the callous
is calcified. The bone will continue to remodel for as long as it is alive, and
subjected to stresses. That is the nature of the skeleton. The pain you feel is
likely caused by the residual edema and associated nerve irritation (edema and
inflammation irritates the nociceptor mechano receptors (pain receptors)).
The more significant question you should be asking is "Why did you sustain a
stress fracture in the first place?" - and you should look to prevent the next
one - was it shoes, orthotics, or the lack of them? Surface? Overtraining? A
combination of the above???
AS far as returning to running is concerned, especially if you solve the
biomechanical problem, start on a gradient, and perform a variety of functional
exercises - balance challenges, step-up/down, jump and hop before you run...