Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"How soon can I go back to running after breaking a bone in my foot?"
I'm a 37 year old male, 278 lbs, and I have lost about 90 pounds over the past several months, mostly from jogging and eating right. Just recently I had an accident where a heavy object fell on my foot and broke the bone at the base of my big toe. The doctors said it was healing OK and that I could run when it feels better, but I was wondering how long it would take? And can I just run through the pain or is it possible to do more damage?
I am sorry to hear about your accident. Congratulations on your weight loss, and I sense your frustration with not wanting to lose ground and get back to running. The important thing, however, is not to overdo it, as a reinjury of the foot by returning to activity too quickly and too aggressively could set you back a lot. I suggest involving your primary care doctor or your sports medicine doctor through this process, as they will be able to help you gauge how quickly you should be going. In general, however, most of these minor foot fractures will require reducing weight bearing on the area for 2-4 weeks. During this time, you can stay limber with stretching exercises but should put much weight on the affected area. Following this you can begin graded exercise. The bottom line is that you should use common sense; if it hurts, you are going to fast. Usually, beginning with light walking and progressing to brisk walking is a good first step. If this goes well, you can begin running in even flat surfaces for short distances, always stopping and backing off if there is pain. Start by talking to your doctor if you have more questions.
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