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929 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2013 4:49 AM by JamesJohnsonLMT RSS
MegJ021 Rookie 1 posts since
Jan 1, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 1, 2007 10:58 AM

Femoral Neck Stress Fracture Surgery

Hello All and Happy New Year!  I am a new member to the Cool Running site and have been diagnosed with a femoral neck stress fracture in the left hip.  I was misdiagnosed for several months starting back in June and after several visits to different doctors and an MRI and bone density scan was informed of the stress fracture.  I completely stopped any activity for approximately 3 months but still do not see much improvement.  My doctor is recommending that I have surgery for pins to be put in my hip.

My question is have others had the same surgery and what can I expect from a recovery time and any ongoing side effects? I am 31 years old and prior to my injury was running only about 5.5 miles 3 or 4 times a week in addition to walking, spinning, and strength training. Are there other options out there for me? Does anyone know how long it will take me to recover - crutches? swimming?

Many thanks to any help you can provide.

  • marunr Rookie 159 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 1, 2007 8:18 PM (in response to MegJ021)
    Re: Femoral Neck Stress Fracture Surgery

    Good luck to you. Here's a post concerning a similar problem:
    http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/Forum11/HTML/009314.shtml[/URL" target="_blank">

  • th1nk4yourself Amateur 97 posts since
    Jun 8, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 2, 2007 3:30 PM (in response to MegJ021)
    Re: Femoral Neck Stress Fracture Surgery

    My roommate actually had a stress fracture on the neck of her femur as well. She said it took 6 months for it to heal - and she didn't have surgery. So I don't know whether just three months off is enough time, but it sounds like you've been going through this for a while. Anyway, she said it was the hardest 6 months of her life, so I just wanted to say hang in there and I hope that everything works out for you! (She's since had another stress fracture in her shin, but that was a year ago, silly girl doesn't know when to take a week off) Now she's back and running better than she's ever been in her life, and I know you can do the same, so good luck with the surgery!

  • J MAC Rookie 2 posts since
    Jan 4, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jan 5, 2007 2:33 AM (in response to MegJ021)
    Re: Femoral Neck Stress Fracture Surgery

    I got a femoral neck fracture in late November and had surgery. Ive been of any exercise for 6 weeks and only just started partially weight bearing. Anyway, im now allowed to start moderate swimming but thats it so its all a bit annoying. Anyway hope to be back running within 4-6 months.

  • mbibbo09 Rookie 3 posts since
    Oct 24, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Oct 24, 2013 5:22 PM (in response to MegJ021)
    Re: Femoral Neck Stress Fracture Surgery

    Hi there,

    So Im an openly admitted running addict that has been averaging about 30 miles a week for the last few months but has been running for years.

    Anyway, I had some hip pain about a week ago on Tuesday Oct 19th or something. On Saturday I went to an orthopedic who said I probably just had a strain and take it easy. Well I then decided to run my normal rout on Monday which resulted in crippling pain all along my left hip and thigh.

    On Tuesday morning (Oct 22), I went to a different orthopedics being that he was the only one that could get me in right away.

    After a 2 second exam and a couple X-rays he informed me I had a significant femoral neck stress fracture that would require immediate surgery. Opting out the surgery would present a 50% risk of loosing my hip and almost grantee a total hip replacement before my 24th birthday.

    Feeling I had no real choice, I had the surgery that night. They inserted three screws into my femur and stabled me up.

    They say the surgery went well and the screws went in tight. I have to admit the pain is like 75% better than before the surgery and while the muscles feel tight its not the sharp pain from the bone.

     

    However, my greatest fear is that they are saying I will need to be on crutches for 6 whole weeks before I can just walk normally on it. I am devastated by this news and am in total shock. Taking away my running is one thing but taking away my ability to walk is like death. I honestly don't think I can do it.

     

    Please, has anyone been in a similar situation and found that while it may have taken 6 weeks to be fully mobile again they were able to ditch the crutches and maintain an exercise free existence for a while. I just need to be able to walk around the house or to the grocery store. I know I will not make it 6 weeks with these things

  • shipo Legend 455 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Oct 25, 2013 5:44 AM (in response to mbibbo09)
    Re: Femoral Neck Stress Fracture Surgery

    Twice now I've had my running interrupted by broken legs and extended time on crutches.  The first time I was young like you, I was non-weight-bearing on crutches for two weeks and then partial weight-bearing with an assist from crutches for the next four weeks.  This event happened between Cross Country and Track seasons of my senior year in High School.  I finally started running again maybe a week before our first track meet and ran slower than I had as a Freshman; I was pleased with my time but my coach blew a gasket (I simply ignored him).  During the last two weeks of the season I managed to break three school records.

     

    Fast forward 28 years, I was 46 years old and burning through my normal 10 mile trail run in about 1:15, and one day while picking my kids up at day care I slipped on some ice, partially tore my foot off and spiral fractured my fibula; I heard it break and knew I was in bad shape before I hit the ground.  This time I was non-weight-bearing for six solid months and in a walking boot (initially with crutch assist) for another three months.  Immediately after surgery my doctor told me I'd never run again; needless to say, I didn't believe him.  Unfortunately for me, for the next six years, every attempt at running was met with an injury due to my asymmetrical stride which in turn was due to my lack of range of motion in the foot/ankle which had been torn apart.

     

    In 2009 I got "downsized" due to the economy and what with all of that extra time on my hands (not to mention the stress of being unemployed), I started a determined and deliberate attempt to run again.  I found a dirt trail to absorb shock and to (hopefully) mitigate the asymmetry in my stride.  I ran 8 miles in April, 18 in May, and managed nearly 50 in June; if I recall correctly, I ran nearly 700 miles that year.

     

    I told you the above to tell you this; you're young, apparently healthy, you'll heal fast and you'll be back out there in a relatively short time.  That said, DON'T RUSH getting back into running when your doctor gives you the green light.  My advice would be to find a soft dirt trail or a golf course or something, and restart your running; this will give your repaired hip both the time AND the stimulus to gradually heal and get stronger.

     

    Remember, the key to healing is to take it slow.

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,154 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Oct 28, 2013 4:49 AM (in response to mbibbo09)
    Femoral Neck Stress Fracture Surgery

    I agree with Shipo about waiting for the green light and taking it slow. While I am not a big fan of surgical interventions, the deed was done, and the guys who did it tell you not to walk for six weeks to protect the integrity of their work. If you break protocol and ignore their prescribed rest period, you could be in for improperly knit bone, even possible life-long chronic pain. It takes a while for the minerals and collagen of bone to organize themselves into the healthy matrix you will want to run on, and the docs should be up on when and what exercise contributes to such remodeling.

     

    I strongly advise you to keep those screws tight, stick to the plan and give yourself the best chance of a full recovery. Otherwise, you will have only yourself to blame. Never trade long-term happiness for short-term glory in something as trivial as casual athletics. Your greatest fear should be sitting on the sidelines pining for the old days when you used to run, and watching all the rest of us service our addiction.

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