What is a common cause of fracture in a trail runner? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
If you’re a trail runner or a marathon runner or an ultra-marathoner, well, the last thing you want to do is get a fracture. If you break something, you have to sit still until it heals, and that can take a long time.
One of the most common fractures I see as a result of trauma is actually a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone. You can also get fifth metatarsal stress fractures but truthfully, that is very rare compared to how most people actually get this injury that I see.
What happens is you’re out on a trail run and running along and you hit a rock or a root or a divot in the trail somehow, and you roll your ankle, and sometimes it doesn’t even hurt. And I recently saw an ultra-marathoner who did this. She was running on a trail, she rolled her ankle, and she said, “It’s just a sprain”, it wasn’t a big deal, it didn’t really even hurt.
The problem is that when you do that, you actually get some basically some numbness around the ankle that makes it more difficult for you to tell the position of your ankle as you continue running. She continued running. She only had a few miles left to go. She was running downhill descending Mt. Ham, and then what happened is she hit another uneven spot on the trail and she rolled her ankle harder.
What happens when you do that? This spot right here, the fifth metatarsal, you have the perineal crevice tending to attach in here and as you roll your ankle over, it pulls so hard to pull your foot back under you trying to keep you from rolling your ankle, it’ll actually crack the bone and that’s what she did.
When you do that because the tendon pulls, it avulses the bone which is why we call it an avulsion fracture. Avulse means to pull apart and so she got an avulsion fracture in her fifth metatarsal and believe it or not, she had actually had one on the other foot previously a couple of years ago.
So, it is a very common thing to do. It’s largely preventable. Just like I’ve talked about some other episodes if you do some simple things, some simple exercises to actually make yourself more stable when you run, you’re less likely to roll your ankle and then crack or break your ankle or the fifth metatarsal or the lateral process of the talus or any of these other things that can really wreck your training and your racing season.
If you want to check out more about ankle pain, if you continue to have ankle pain after you sprain it, you got to check out the ankle pain masterclass. You can get it for free a www.docontherun.com/anklepainmasterclass. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see in the next training.