Tibia Stress Fracture: Conflicting Advise

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Hi, I had an accident in early August, slipped and hit my shin on a corner. The emergency room doctor put stitches on the wound, and I thought that was it.

After 8-9 days, there was sill significant pain, so had x-ray done, but it didn't show anything. I met an orthopedic specialist a few days later (say Dr. A), and he said it looks fine, start walking as much as you can. I started walking, but it would hurt randomly, or if I walked longer, even though the wound had almost healed.

We got an MRI done and it turned out I have a stress fracture in tibia. So Dr A put me on crutches for 5-6 weeks (already 7 weeks since injury, but I was walking continuously) and said we may have to do surgery if it doesn't heal by then. I went to another orthopedic (say Dr. B). He said it is not too bad, and he wouldn't have put me on crutches and the chances of needing surgery are less than 5% . This would heal by itself, and actually the bone may heal better from some pressure of walking.

What should I do with this conflicting opinion? I am trying to be on the safer side, and using crutches (5th day now). Based on online reviews, both the doctors seem to be very good.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes is probably right. But try not to stress yourself and trigger any more injury
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  • Posted

    I have also heard that putting some weight on a stress fracture could help with healing.  Too bad you have to decide between such diverse opinions.  Since you said it hurt randomly when walking or if you walked longer perhaps it just needed time.  Do you still have "significant" pain?  Of course a pin prick to me is considered significant pain to my sensitive husband. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I don't have significant pain now. I had a lot of pain in the first 3 weeks, could hardly walk. After that I slowly started walking. And right before the crutches last week, I was able to walk for 20-30 mins with no pain or very slight pain. After longer walks, some pain (something like 2 or 3 on a scale of 10) would persist for several hours.

      Maybe I can go for a 3rd opinion as a tie-breaker.

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  • Posted

    A third medical opinion is certainly an option.  I just try to avoid doctors as much as possible.  My 5th metatarsal fracture (little toe) was my first and only broken bone and it didn't give me any pain except that first day that it happened.  I was sure surprised a week later when I saw the orthopedist and ended up in a non weight bearing cast for weeks and on and on.  grr  GOOD LUCK with your complete recovery.

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