Can a tibial stress fracture heal on its own?

A tibial stress fracture can be one of the most difficult injuries a runner could face. It can keep you out of running for months, possibly keep you on crutches and occasionally need surgery.

Keith asks:
Due to running, I developed the dread black line right in the middle of my anterior tibia. After stopping running, all my pain disappeared within a week or two. Now 5 weeks later, I can fast walk with zero pain. The bump on my shin has greatly reduced to half the size of a dime. Yet, I read the stories, and wonder if I have any hope of recovering and running without surgery. In your experience, have you ever seen people recover from the dreaded black line?

In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer the question of a runner who feels like his tibial stress fracture is improving and wonders if that’s the normal progression of the injury.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier: Healing of tibial stress fractures
Ask Dr. Geier – Time for healing of a stress fracture

Runner with leg pain and possible tibial stress fracture