I saw a specialist on Thursday about the lower leg I injured. He confirmed the x-ray showed no sign of fracture, and thought it was unlikely I have a stress fracture because the symptoms were getting better so fast and there was no pain when he poked and prodded. The radiologist had mentioned there was some sign of arthritis in my ankle, but he disagreed, saying the cartilage (which shows up as a white gap at a joint on x-rays) looked fine. He also manipulated my ankle and said he couldn’t detect arthritis by feel. So that was good news.
He also pointed out something else interesting: my x-ray showed calcification in the arteries of the lower leg. Not too severe, but noticeable as white spots in the arteries. There is no sign of impaired artery function because the pulse in my ankles and feet is fine. I mentioned previously that calcification had been detected in my coronary arteries, which can indicate plaque in the arteries. But in my case, it has been since proven to be benign from follow-up tests. Also, I’ve also reported that calcium in the arteries is common in endurance athletes, but more likely to be ok because if there is plaque it tends to be stable. I think I fall into that category because I do a lot of training, even though I’m not at an elite level. So I guess it’s not surprising this also shows up in other arteries. Something to discuss with my cardiologist when I see him.
Since my leg continues to feel better I gave it a try on a two-hour ride yesterday. I even threw in some higher intensity intervals, but still kept the pedal pressure low by spinning fast in a lower gear. It went fine. I think I’ll be back to full strength in a few more days. I’m really pleased at this considering that at first, I thought I had a stress fracture that could take several weeks of rehab.