I went to the orthopedist on Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Cappiello told me that things are definitely getting better with my stress fracture, and he said we could trade the crutches in for a boot (air cast). Dr. Cappiello also said that he wished Dr. Bhaskar (my MD) had called him, because he would have started me with the boot in the first place. However, we both decided that because my leg doesn't hurt all day long anymore, the crutches served their purpose.
This boot is SO much better than being on crutches. My leg feels a lot better, but does get a little achy at the end of the day. I'll be starting physical therapy in two weeks, and Dr. Cappiello said that the physical therapist will determine when I can run again. Dr. Cappiello said that it could be 8 weeks before I take a "brisk walk" again, or it could be 12 depending on how the PT goes. At this point, I'll do anything to make this get better.
I asked the Ortho what caused this in the first place. When we talked about my running history, he said that most likely I ramped up my training too quickly after my last half marathon. Out of that, I realized that following a training plan is important not only to get you mentally ready, but physically, it allows your muscles to grow and change to handle the stress of the activity. I hadn't realized that muscles change based on what you're doing. Dr. C said that your muscles move and grow to support your bones based on the exercise you're doing. He also said that the PT will give me a training schedule specific to my injury that will allow me to run again.
This orthopedist was amazing. It was so refreshing to hear him say that his ultimate goal is to get me back out and running, and that exercising is a vital part of the recovery process. He said that I can try anything I want (except running) in the gym, and if it hurts, I scratch it off the list. I'm really looking forward to seeing what new things I will start doing in the gym. For now, he recommended weights, the stationary bike, and light squats, etc. He said to wait on the elliptical and treadmill until after I see the physical therapist. He also suggested I get a trainer...and smiled when I said I already had a great one! Lastly, Dr. C said I could email him with any questions I may have, especially ones related to exercise so that I don't hurt myself. He was definitely the best doctor I've ever seen. I highly recommend him!