Shin splints or stress fracture?

Patient

Q: I am a high school female cross country runner. I have been having pain on the inside of my left shin bone, and I was concerned that it might be a stress fracture. There's a small tender spot that hurts really bad when I press on it. When I run, the pain is mild and gradually grows more intense, but when I stop, it's the worst pain - the pain shoots up my leg and even into my lower back. I had a race on Saturday and was in tears immediately after I stopped running when the extreme pain hit. I feel medium pain for hours after running, and I feel the tender spot ache at night when I'm trying to go to sleep. It feels okay in the morning, but I feel pain in that specific spot when I go up and down flights of stairs at school. I went to an orthopedist today, and he said he knew it was not a stress fracture because I said that my pain was really bad after I stop running. He said stress fracture pain goes away as soon as you stop running. However, that directly opposes the research I've done. He pressed on my shin in the tender spot, and I told him it hurt really bad. I held my tears in until I was in the car. My leg hurt all the way home, and still continues to hurt. He dismissed it as shin splints, and said I need to ice and stretch. I know you're not suppose to question your doctor, but I'm not so sure that's the case. As much as I don't want it to be, the evidence points to a stress fracture.

Symptoms:  Leg pain (see question)
Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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