Stress Fracture or Osteoarthritis

Stress fracture or osteoarthritis

Lesson: If you’re middle aged, a scissor-kick, high-jump can lead directly to the debate, stress fracture or osteoarthritis?

Background: For those who don’t know, I was a GP in Cumberland/Courtenay, Comox Valley, BC for thirteen years.

One sunny day, while visiting Stanley Park, a thirty-eight year old GP was feeling half his age. His brain said "I’ll bet I can make it over that fence." Well, I did, I made it over the fence, but at the peak of my jump there was a disturbing sound emanating from my hip and when I landed my hip yelled at my brain, "That was f-ing stupid." For the rest of our trip to Vancouver, I dragged my leg like Chester chasing Marshal Dillon on the TV series ‘Gunsmoke’ (1955—1975).

After weeks of all-day, most-of-the-night discomfort, I had an x-ray that wasn’t helpful. Later, following a RN bone scan:

  • our local radiologist asked if I had prostate trouble, hinting that prostate cancer with metastases to bone was a possibility
  • then I got a call from the nuclear medicine specialist in Vitoria. He asked, "Frank, what have you been up to?" He was convinced I had a stress fracture.

Our local orthopaedic surgeon disagreed, he diagnosed osteoarthritis. I didn’t argue, but I thought "That’s a second crazy-ass diagnosis based on my recent history."

Later, an MRI showed a healing/healed stress fracture and no osteoarthritis, none. Subsequently, I’ve never had a problem with either of my hips.