What could cause leg pain in a runner other than a stress fracture?

If you have pain, but tests don’t show an obvious answer, what’s next? Are there other tests that can be performed? Are there other possibilities for the diagnosis? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss these questions for a reader whose daughter is dealing with leg pain.

Drew asks:

My daughter has typical tibial stress fracture symptoms, but a bone scan is inconclusive. Can it still be a stress fracture? If not, what else should we look for? Lastly, what’s the course of treatment? She is a field hockey player at a D1 college level!

A tibial stress fracture is a common injury in runners and running athletes. Doctors can make the diagnosis with a bone scan or MRI. Sometimes these tests show stress reactions that have not become full stress fractures. If they don’t show a stress fracture or stress reaction, the doctor might consider another cause of leg pain.

Also read:
5 common running injuries

In this video, I share my thoughts on the diagnosis of tibial stress fractures and other causes of leg pain in running athletes.

Also read:
5 signs your running injury is serious

Runner with leg pain and possible stress fracture