What is the very last option you can do as a runner to avoid surgery? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
Today’s episode applies to any injury where you’ve been told that you might need surgery. So just remember, first of all, don’t ever have surgery unless you get a second opinion.
But I spoke to somebody recently who was told that she might need surgery to fix a non-union of a metatarsal fracture. Maybe she needs surgery and maybe she doesn’t. However, there’s one thing that we talked about at length when I just said, “Look, you have two choices. You can have surgery or not have surgery.”
We talked about what it meant if she did have surgery in terms of her recovery. And we also talked about how she could potentially get it to heal without having all the risk associated with surgery.
She was asking me a bunch of questions and what that came down to is I just said, “Look, if you’re going to try to do that, you need to go all in. You need to go all in on healing.” And she said, “Well, what do you mean?” And I said, “Well, you’ve been doing a lot of stuff in trying to let it heal but then you’re doing some things that are undoing some of the healing as it happens.”
The way I was thinking about this, in her case I just said “Look, going all in to me really is really simple. You want to remove 100% of the stress from the thing that you’re trying to heal.” So, I recommended that she try a bone stimulator to speed up the actual healing of the bone itself. But in order to allow that to actually work, I said you need to try to completely and totally immobilize it in a fracture walking boot and treat it like a cast. Don’t remove it and use crutches Do not put your foot on the floor at all.
And then that’s not enough. You need to make sure that you’re really protecting your sleep. You need to make sure that your nutrition is 100% on. You may need to make sure that your hydration is good. You really aren’t doing things that are stressful. No alcohol, no smoking, no anything that might disrupt healing and granted, most athletes are not smoking and most athletes are not doing alcohol or something like that, that’s going to really disrupt their healing. But if you are you have to address that too.
You’ve got to make sure that if you’re going to really give it one last chance to heal before you really go in for surgery, you have to go all in. Don’t waste your time monkeying around with it and do it halfway.
If you have an injury like a stress fracture, and you’re concerned it’s not healing, you got to check out the stress fracture masterclass. I’ll walk you through all the principles that I use to treat athletes with stress fractures. You can get it for free at www.docontherun.com/stressfracturemasterclass. So, go check it out, and I’ll see you in the training.