I went to see this particular orthopedist because I am 99% sure I am developing my third stress fracture in the last 18 months. Something is definitely wrong.
Anyways, the "good news" is that it isn't a full-blown, super bad stress fracture. Luckily I am smart enough to stop running before it gets too bad (three stress fractures will do that to a girl) so I won't need a boot and I won't need many, many weeks off. I need at least two weeks of no running-- cross-training instead, as long as it doesn't hurt my foot. After that I can attempt a walk/run for about 4 weeks until I am back up to running 30 minutes without walking.
He also wants me to do a few other things:
1. Get a DEXA scan to measure my bone density. I am glad we are doing this, but every doctor I have seen doesn't think I have an issue with my bone density. I don't think this doctor really does, either, but there is a reason I keep getting stress fractures, so maybe this is actually it?
2. Strength train my feet! This is really a thing, and it doesn't involve tiny barbells. I actually already started doing this through my PT's orders, so I need to keep it up.
3. Take calcium supplements
4. Ice after running. Well, when I start running again.
5. Use non-medication anti-inflammatory supplements and diet strategies. Did you know that increasing your omega-3 intake, limiting saturated fats, increasing whole grains and adding spices such as curry, tumeric and ginger to your diet are some ways to help with inflammation naturally?
He also basically slammed my training plan, saying the Galloway method of low weekly mileage and high weekend mileage is setting me up for injury. Of course, I pointed out that I injured myself on Hal Higdon's plan, which had higher weekday mileage. So, once I am running again, I need a new plan. He wants to me to focus on being able to run lower mileage more frequently, then slowly increasing the mileage. Apparently your weekend long run should take up only 1/3 of your overall mileage! I had no idea, my plans weren't following that theory . . .
Anyways, I am cautiously optimistic about all of this. Not sure if I am wishing my bone scan will show something or not. On one hand, it would be answers, on the other hand, no one wants to have bone density issues.