Eric Van De Vens Blog

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Break a leg…or two!

Last week, I went to get a full body scan and it showed that my body, to quote my friend Colette, “Is that of a cadaver”! Monday was the official reading of  the report.

My doctor, Dr. Baylis, has been treating me for 15 years. He has performed six different surgeries on me, so, he no longer has to sugar-coat things. When he walked in, I could tell by the look on his face, what was to come next. Aside from that, I peeked at the written report on the computer, so I knew what was coming as well.

He informed me that I had a stress fracture on my left tibia and a severe stress fracture on my right tibia. Had I continued training and ran another race, I more than likely would have shattered my right tibia. This is of course, is very bad news, but, could have been worse. A shattered tibia would take roughly, at my age, two years to fully recover from.

The bad news about this type of fracture is that it takes longer to heal than a clean break. Right now, I have been ordered not to do anything aerobic for three months! Normally, this type of injury would require crutches, however, due to the fracture in the left leg, using crutches would put pressure on the left leg, so, it is a walking boot, rest, ice and nothing else for three months.

The more serious problem is what caused this. I suspect it has something to do with my running style and shoes. I have been doing a lot of reading and the shoes, even for a mild pronator, may be putting too much stress on my lower legs. The weight is also an issue and although I have lost 30 pounds, I still have another 30 pounds to go. I will be doing a bunch of research before I begin to train again in August. I will also seek out some more running professionals and may even resort to custom shoes. In the meantime, I’ll be returning to the gym for cardiovascular upper body and core exercises as well as continuing my diet.

I am still going to run the Disney Wine and Dine this November and if all goes well with that race, since I am already registered for it, my first marathon, The A1A Marathon in February 2014. The goal is still Boston in 2015 and if I can recover from this injury and then prevent it in the future, everything else should fall into place.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the blog followers, comments, e mails and encouragement I have received from the “internet family” and friends. Your words are inspiring.

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May 14, 2013 - Posted by | Health and Fitness, Running | , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Tough news indeed mate although mentally you seem to be handing it really well. Take time to heal and rest up, remember the basketball player from Louisville during the NCAA tournament this year? I would hate to have you experience something like that! Brooks has a really cool custom shoe program that I will share with you after you heal up. 😉 Take care and be well!!!

    Comment by CultFit | May 14, 2013 | Reply

  2. My doctor told me about him and the repair would involve rods, screws, and plates and it will never be right again. I may look into the Brooks program, although, those shoes, the Adrenaline 10s if I remember correctly, where the first shoes I ran in three years ago and promptly tore my calf muscle..twice! Maybe the Brooks people can point me in the right direction instead of the salesman at the running store!
    Thanks for the comment!

    Comment by magnuminsp | May 14, 2013 | Reply

  3. Cause: Repeated uniform loads, particularly when walking or running, can cause such great stress that cracks (fractures) appear in the bone (article) . Symptoms: Pain upon applying pressure (direct and indirect tenderness) and applying load (walking, running). Examination: X-ray. Since many stress fractures are not visible early in the course, x-ray examination can be repeated after a few weeks, if stress fractures are still suspected. Scintigraphy, MRI and ultrasound scans can often diagnose stress fractures far earlier than x-rays (Ultrasonic image) (Photo) . It is crucial for the result of the treatment that the diagnosis is made as early as possible (article) . Treatment: The treatment primarily comprises relief and possibly bandaging. Only in special cases is surgery necessary. It is imperative that there are good shock-absorbing soles in the shoes (article) . Rehabilitation: The rehabilitation is completely dependant on the type of fracture and the treatment (relief or surgical). Also read rehabilitation, general . Complications: If progress is not smooth, you should be medically re-evaluated to ensure that the fracture is healing according to plan. In some cases a false joint is formed (pseudoarthrosis), which requires surgical treatment. Special: Shock absorbing shoes or inlays will reduce the load.

    Comment by Molly N. Lowery | May 18, 2013 | Reply

  4. I think I have stress fractures. I have taken a month off of running, and I keep having problems. I have finally been forced to stop even biking and swimming. I was concerned, so my mom decided to take me to a patient first clinic, which was dumb, because the doctor had no idea what she was doing, and she thought I had limes disease or early onset arthritis because she had never heard of having tibial stress fractures that weren’t on the lower third of the bone. Then she said that “fine, if you want an x-ray, we’ll do one just to be sure and nothing showed up, but I have pain in the bone, and this doctor was a general physician who didn’t know much about bomes anyways, so I’m going to try to find a doctor who does. Any advice?

    Comment by Selena V. Clemons | May 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Get a body scan. That will show the fractures. I have to stop all activity for three months.

      Comment by magnuminsp | May 25, 2013 | Reply


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