What is a stress fracture? It is a crack in a bone caused by undue stress from overuse or sudden impact from a common bike accident. Stress fractures are a common bone injury among athletes and older individuals, particularly those with smaller frames or osteoporosis. Many runners and cyclists develop stress fractures after experiencing repeated excess force on the bones.
Stress fractures also can develop after an accident, such as a bicycle accident, in which the impact of the collision caused tiny, hairline fractures in an already weakened or over-stressed bone.
Understanding Stress Fractures
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a weight-bearing bone that usually develop in the shins, feet, hips or thighs. More than half of stress fractures that patients develop are in the lower legs and feet, reports EXOS Knowledge.
Because the bone fissures are so small, they usually won’t show up on x-rays. Instead, doctors will have to utilize different diagnostic testing such as:
- CT scans;
- MRIs; or
- bone density scans.
The doctor will ask about symptoms to confirm the diagnosis. The primary symptom of stress fractures is pain and tenderness that worsens when pressure is applied or with any weight-bearing activity.
When you visit your physician for diagnosis, he or she should ask what could have caused the stress fracture. If you began noticing the pain after your bicycle accident, it’s important to tell your doctor for documentation purposes.
Stress Fracture Treatment and Recovery
For the first 48 hours, doctors usually will recommend ice treatment for the affected area. Elevating the extremity and resting as much as possible is also recommended to facilitate healing.
Stress fracture treatment may include a splint to immobilize the area, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful for pain and inflammation. After a couple of weeks, many patients can begin to bear more weight on the affected area, although sometimes a cane or crutches may be needed. Bearing weight stimulates healing, explains WebMD.
It’s important not to perform activities that might overwork the affected area because too much stress could prolong healing. It may take six to eight weeks for pain to subside. And in some cases, stress fractures won’t heal on their own and will require surgery. Full recovery may take many months or even years.
Coping with the Aftermath of the Injury
It can be very hard for cyclists to cope with stress fractures because they become frustrated with their limited mobility; they just want to get back on the road. Plus, if their injuries are severe enough, they may have had to miss work, which causes both financial and mental strain.
While you’re giving your body time to heal, it’s important not to rush the process. If you’re itching to do something active, see if your doctor will allow you to cross train with activities that don’t utilize your affected bone, recommends EXOS Knowledge.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim in Aurora
If you are suffering from stress fracture injuries after a bicycle accident that another party may be liable for, you might be eligible to file an injury claim to recover damages.
To discuss your legal options, feel free to call the law office of D.J. Banovitz, serving Aurora and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation at 303-300-5060.