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This Sunday when I was about seven miles into my run my foot started hurting. It wasn't a gradual increase in pain, it was sudden. I had to walk the next mile home, and was in a lot of pain. The next day it still hurt really bad, so I went to the doctor. They x-rayed it there, and didn't see anything, but set me up to have a bone scan to check to see if it was a stress-fracture. So I got the bone scan, and at first they said it looked good, but on the way home, they called and said not only did they know think that I had a stress fracture on my third toe of my right foot, but something is wrong with my left ankle, although that's another story. My question is what do you think could be wrong with my foot if it isn't a stress fracture like they said it is? I talked to my coach and a few other experienced runners and none of them thought it sounded like a stress fracture. I ran two miles today and experienced no pain, although I felt a little bit a few hours afterwards while I was walking. Virtually none though. The toe they say has the stress fracture is bruised, as well as the toe next to it, but not nearly as much, and my foot. Does this sound like anything that's happened to anyone here? Any help would be appreciated.

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Unfortunately, a bone scan is not a very specific test for stress fractures. That means that although the test is considered "positive" it still may not be a SF. I spent 3 years at a basic training post working on literally hundreds of soldiers with stress fractures. If we did a bone scan on a soldier two weeks into training without any symptoms their bone scan would often be "positive" for a stress fracture. The bone scan shows where the body has increased metabolic activity. In your case the Xray did not show a "break" , which is good. This is also quite common, unless there is an actual break in the bone a SF will not show up for 2 weeks to 2 months on an xray. An MRI will provide you with the most accurate assessment of your 3rd metatarsal. MRI's are expensive but would definitely confirm the diagnosis. Treatment is similar whether you have an MRI or not, you would pursue pain free training. Pain free training in your case probably needs to include cycling or swimming. Also make sure you are addressing any training errors (old shoes, mileage, intensity, running surface, etc). You can find tips on "Principles of Recovery" at
Best
Bryan
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