Athletic Injuries Essay, Research Paper
Athletes with Stress Fractures
A stress fracture is a painful and damaging injury that can alter an athlete s performance. Not only can stress fractures destroy the bone that has been injured, but it can also cause a long term damaging affect that can cause permanent harm to that bone. The very definition of a stress fracture is a crack, break, or complete shattering of a bone. The most common kind of stress fracture is found in the bones of the ankle. This area is commonly known as the fibula or the outer side of the lower leg. A stress fracture is caused by constant pounding or weight applied to a single area of the bone. This reasoning can be found in the very name of a .stress x fracture. A stress fracture is also a series of microfractures in the bone caused by repetitive low-grade trauma to that one area. Stress fractures are most common in sports like Track, ballet, and basketball. All these sports deal with the problem of stress applied to the lower leg region. Another theory for the cause of stress fractures is the fatigue theory. This theory assumes that when an athlete is tired the muscle is fatigued and then cannot support the skeleton. The skeleton is then subjected to the constant pounding of the ground; this then creates a small crack known as a stress fracture. I know with myself that I got a stress fracture due to my stride. My stride was wrongfully trained by my constant heals striking the pavement rather than using the palm of my foot to help support the weight of my body. This than caused a small crack in my left ankle that grew into a stress fracture. I did not find out that I had a stress fracture until several months into my track season. It turns out that my constant pain in both my calves and shins was a way of my body telling me to slow down, due to my stress fracture. After reading a chapter in Athletic Injuries I
realized that these side affects only proved that I had the beginning signs of a stress fracture. I spoke of these pains to my athletic trainer at Clackamas Community College and he agreed with me that I should have a doctor look at my ankle to see if I had a stress fracture. Tony (athletic trainer) told me to go see Dr. Soota and have a x-ray done. I had a x-ray done just shortly after tony s suggestion. My x-ray to my surprise showed up negative and I was more frustrated than ever. Dr. Soota said he still thought I had a stress fracture and set up a time for me to have a bone scan. Sometimes an x-ray does not show the crack due to a stress fracture being so small. Later that week I went back in to meet with Dr. Soota again to have my bone scan. Dr. Soota informed me on the day of my bone scan that I could run regardless of the results of the bone scan. The only reason for this is that Dr. Soota felt that if I did have a stress fracture that I could not make the injury any worse by running one or two races. Just two days after my bone scan I got a call from Dr. Soota advising me not to run on my stress fracture due to my left ankle bone being almost cracked all the way through. Dr. Soota did say I could run on my ankle, but that me recovery time would be extended four to six weeks more. This meaning that I would not be able to run until the middle of September. This concerned my cross-country coach since cross-country starts the beginning of September. My coaches Jack Kegg and Mike Hicki at Clackamas Community College made the decision. The problem they saw was that my ankle could crack all the way through and cause my ankle to break. Jack Kegg announced to me .Myself nor Hicki will run you if it means causing you long term injury x. This comment really made me think about my
ability to actually run a race with the pain I was induring. This topic of contradiction between doctors regarding my stress fracture allowed me to notice that I would have caused great damage to my ankle if I would have run. I began researching this the seriousness of a stress fracture by interviewing all three of my doctors. The first of these three doctors was Dr. Rolsch. Dr. Rolsch was the first doctor I saw about my ankle who referred me to Dr. Soota. Dr. Rolsch had told me under whatever circumstances that should arise I should not run on my ankle if I end up having a stress fracture. Yet, Dr. Soota had said that I could run on a stress fracture, but the consciences would be a delayed recovery time and a possible broken ankle. I should also mention that Dr. Soota had advised me for the sake of my long time career in running that I should not run at NWACC. I also telephoned my regular doctor, Dr. Newberry. I told Dr. Newberry about my injury and he said the same thing as Dr. Rolsch. Newberry told me I should not run on a stress fracture under any circumstances due to the possibility of having my ankle break. I also interviewed Chris Holiday who was on the track team last year. Chris had to leave track due to a stress fracture that he suffered in his left ankle. Chris admitted .My stress fracture has had months to heal, but every time I attempt to run on it, my ankle starts hurting again x. I can defiantly agree with this feeling since I suffer from the same place of injury.
I recently was approached by a coach who wanted me to run at NWACC because he felt it was my responsibility to the team. I had told him that the pain was just too great
In addition, he had been informed of my doctor s findings and opinions. My coach had also admitted, .When you re a college athlete you will have some pains, but that only means you need to run through them x. I was much taken back by my coaches attempts to get me to run under the conditions I was suffering. What my coach was unaware of is that my stress fracture was a large crack that could lead to a break in my anklebone. This injury over time could and can lead to a deformity in my foot. Many coaches and doctors feel that a stress fracture is to minor of a crack to take seriously. Yet, a stress fracture is even more dangerous in that it is a series of small microfractures that can lead to a severe breakage or fracture of the bone. Another aspect of a stress fracture is the recovery time. A minor stress fracture takes at least six weeks of recovery. This means staying off the bone and refraining from doing any exercise that would cause stress or weight on that bone. In my case, I had a severe stress fracture that was on the brink of a complete break in my anklebone. I was advised to stay off my ankle until August and to do physical therapy all summer. Dr. Soota told me to do pool workouts and low impact biking. Both these two exercises keep weight off my ankle and allow the bone to heal. The author of Athletic Injuries admitted, .Stress fractures are known to be one of the most painful and hardest injuries to recover from x(110). Under all the information and opinions that I have researched from both doctors and health books I have concluded that stress fractures are a very serious injury that can both alter an athletes performance as well as injure an athlete permanently if not taken proper care of. An athlete in no shape or form should ever compete with a stress fracture.