Shin Splints vs. Stress Fracture

Google to the rescue!

First of all I thought shin splints only occured on the front of the leg. I didnt realize you can get shin splints on the side of your leg. News to me! And well I *thought* it was good news and that maybe I just have shin splints, but there is bad news


The bad news is I believe my “stress fracture” diagnosis was right. I do not think its shin splints. The only sure way to tell is MRI/Bone Scan and those cost $$$ which I dont have. But then, there is also this:

“A “one-leg hop test” is a functional test often used to distinguish between MTSS and a stress fracture. A patient with MTSS can hop at least 10 times on the affected leg; however, a patient with a stress fracture cannot hop without severe pain.”

Theres no way in heck Im going to even attempt that because I already know it ain’t happening. I initially felt the pain when running on the treadmill the other day. It came in an instant but I just attributed it to not having ran in a while. And well, its very amusing to me that this particular injury is also called “overuse injury”. Overuse?! Bwahahaha! Ive certainly not “overused” anything lately. 

So, what am I supposed to do about it, you ask? Apparently this stuff:

  • Rest (I got this one covered!)
  • Wear supportive shoes (I do when running, but not everyday)
  • Modify my activities
  • Lose Weight (Oh, I know they didnt go there!)
  • Avoid bearing weight/stand/walking
  • ICE
  • Take NSAIDs

The key being rest and taking it easy for weeks, possibly months.  Im pretty bummed because I was *just* starting to feel like my pace was picking back up from the horrible Summer/Heat running, but, maybe it will turn out NOT to be a fracture and just shin splints and Ill be all better in a couple days. Im keeping my fingers crossed at least! Im also going to be cautious and continue to treat it like a fracture, but hope it really is shin splints.

3 thoughts on “Shin Splints vs. Stress Fracture

  1. jena

    Oh No, that stinks. I've never had shin splits, or a stress fx so I don't know anything about either.

    I “think” an x-ray *might* be able to see a stress fx.

    Obviously I think you should probably rest a few actually rest. Don't attempt to run (even though I know you already have)… If the pain doesn't go away you should probably see a Dr. an ortho is better, but a PCP can order an xray.

    Good Luck, how frustrating!

  2. Life as a Convert (Khourt)

    Everything that Ive read said that *maybe* an x ray could see it, but it usually doesnt show up on x-rays and has to be done with MRI or bone scan, both of which I cant afford.

    Ill probably end up doing the stupid thing and waiting it out to see if its shin splints or fx. It really wouldnt make a different knowing for sure because the “cure” to fix them both is mostly just rest so I guess I need to rest.

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