However, when the bone is weaker (poor base of running, low Vit D or Calcium, low estrogen, abnormal bone structure) than the muscle, the bone may actually be the weakest link in the chain and break. This break in the bone normally remains a stress hairline fracture not detectable by normal xrays. Only in rare cases does the bone break all the way through into a complete fracture. The complete fractures are easy to diagnosis, due to the intense pain. A hairline stress fracture, also called a fatigue fracture of the bone, can at times be run on for weeks and even months. Top athletes, with apparently high pain thresholds, have presented to our office with 3 to 5 stress fractures and still running with so-called "shin splint pain".
|On this front view of the tibias, see the intense dye uptake in the middle of the left tibia. Since Christina is fourteen, she is still growing so her growth plates near the knees and ankles are still very active.|