Stress Fractures and Unicycling

A couple of days before NAUCC, I started having some severe pain and swelling in my left foot. Two days later, it started in my right foot. I finally went to a foot specialist today at the local sports medicine clinic. He said at some point I had acquired a small stress fracture in the metatarsals on each foot. When the fractured bone chips broke off, it began hurting me more. He said there is no telling when the actual fracture happened, but it could be caused by landing hard on both feet a number of times–as in a UPD.

So now I am in a special boot that immobilizes one foot. After 2 weeks he will take that one off and put one on the other foot for 2 weeks.

Anyone had anything similar? And if so, how did you keep it from recurring (other than not UPDing)?

Bill Hugo

Foot injuries

That sounds painful, Bill. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

My recent experience with foot pain wasn’t so severe but it was almost intolerable while it lasted. I was observing and videoing NUMEN 2007 at Killington and was learning to hop on a borrowed KH20. On one of the hops, my right heel dropped very low causing the ankle to experience an extreme upward bending of the toes (hyperflexion?).

The immediate pain wasn’t severe and I walked 18 holes at nearby Killington Golf Course. During the drive back to my condo near Okemo, the pain became so severe I had to use the cruise control for speed and my left foot for the brake. When I got home, the pain was so intense I was actually shaking. A few ibuprofens gave me relief and within 48 hours there was no trace of discomfort. Weird!

I competed as a gymnast and logged 2000+ parachute jumps without a fracture. Then three years ago I experience a UPD involving hand versus asphalt. The asphalt won. Had to get three pins inserted laterally across the palm. This past winter while pacesetting for a ski race I managed to break two ribs (and then contracted pneumonia). I hate to acknowledge it but my body may be trying to tell me something.

A friend got stress fractures in her ankles presumably from running on asphalt training for a trialthalon (she’s a serious cyclist and rarely runs). The Doc had her stay away from all impact exercises for 6 weeks. I think she was fine after that. She told me when she could run again, she would only do it on grass or trails.

I hope my body never talks to me like that:o

Wait, It already is. If I work out (too) hard after a long break it takes several days longer to recover.:frowning:

I’ve been having that same problem too, whenever I’m done riding I can’t walk on my left heel. No way am I going to foot doctor though, that must suck not being able to ride for 4 weeks.

I know someone who had stress fractures in his ankles from backpacking in the mountains. I understand he was carrying a heavy backpack.

I had a stress fracture in my right big toe, the result of UPD-ing off a Coker on a steep downhill. Landed hard and jammed the toe into the front of my shoe. That was the lesser injury…the bigger damage was done by th biggest joint on the toe coming out of socket. That hurt like crazy for the day it took to get someone to fix it.

I think uni is hardest on the lower legs and feet. Sure you can crash big and mess something else up. But you’re much more likely to fall and hurt a toe or ankle, or forget pads and get a pedal strike to your calf or shins. All of those hurt, and some bleed and leave scars.

Best way to keep it from recurring is to: 1) follow all the presecribed healing steps, even though it will get b-o-r-i-n-g, then 2) don’t ever repeat the types of actions that led to the original injury.

If choice 2 doesn’t appeal to you, then get really good at step 1, because you will likely be repeating it down the road.

Update. The left foot has healed nicely and is for the most part 100%. I now have a boot on my right foot for a couple of weeks. which driving somewhat of a challenge.