Has My Stress Fracture Not Healed or Did it Reoccur?
Advice on stress fractures and recovery
Kathy Weber, M.D., M.S.
Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine
Rush University Medical Center
I was diagnosed with a tibial stress fracture just below my knee over 18 months ago (I had numerous knee operations on the same leg prior to the stress fracture, including ACL reconstruction and an allograft OATS procedure). I still have significant pain in the same area my stress fracture was diagnosed. Is it possible that the stress fracture has not healed and/or that all the trauma to the knee area has made the tibia susceptible to pain?
Yes, it is possible that the stress fracture has not healed. Sometimes additional studies may be necessary to evaluate for healing such as a MRI or CT scan. Your knee history is quite extensive but typically the history of the trauma to the knee does not equate to tibia problems in the future. What can happen is that persistent muscle weakness or imbalance may cause mechanical errors that result in undue stress on the tibia. It might be helpful to have a biomechanical evaluation by a qualified physician or a physical therapist that has expertise in evaluating athletes.