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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM
Stress Fracture not healing?
Hi. I have had a "stress fracture" for over 6 weeks. I first started feeling pain about 7 weeks ago. It went completely away for a week then came back. The first doctor I saw did xrays. They said the xray showed a stress fracture. The ortho doctor I saw next said the xray showed nothing. I had a bone scan. It showed a high uptake in the top of my foot. The ortho doctor then diagnosed a stress fracture of the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal. I was put in a post surgery shoe and given anti inflamatory medicine. The problem is I still have unbearable pain, even after staying off my feet. I also have severe sweeling in ALL my toes on that foot. A few days ago my two middle toes turned blue. Now they turn black when I stand on them. My entire leg is red also, a completely different color than the other. I have called the doctors office twice to tell them about this. I dont have an appointment for two more weeks. They dont seem concerned but I am. I am starting to wonder if it is really a fracture at all. The radiologist report reccommended a MRI but the doctor scoffed at the recommendation. Should I try to see someone else? I am so tired of not being able to walk. The doctor told me it would take 4 weeks to heal. I am close to doubling that. Please help!
I do not know much about you or your medical history but generally a non-displaced stress fracture should heal in 4-6 weeks. If the bone scan showed an uptake at the level of the fracture then I would go with a diagnosis of fracture. What I find puzzling is the fact that the fracture was barely visible on x-ray so that tells me is what probably just a small fracture and theoretically should be healed.
The fact that your foot and leg seems to be worsening also concerns me; it should also concern your doctor.
Do not be intimidated by your doctor; they are not flawless and in some cases are quite clueless. Demand to either speak to him or her directly or have one of the staff members relay your concerns to the doctor.
If you get no satisfaction then I would recommend you see another doctor.
Marc Mitnick DPM
Johns Hopkins Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
Penn State Medical Center
National Institutes of Health
Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation
Stanford Health Care
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute
Mount Sinai Hospital
Institute for Chronic Pain
University of Florida Health
American Family Physician
University of Maryland Medical Center