Bone Marrow Edema is a condition that results from excessive and/or repetitive stress to bone.  It is often seen among distance runners and should be considered a “pre-stress” fracture.

What is Bone Marrow Edema?

Bone Marrow Edema is swelling and inflammation within the bone resulting in significant pain.  Due to the swelling being within the bone the pressure has no way of escaping.  This pressure causes pain and if left untreated may result in a fracture to the bone.


What are common misdiagnosis for Bone Marrow Edema?

Stress Fracture


Muscle Strain


How do you accurately diagnose Bone Marrow Edema?

Bone Marrow Edema can not be seen on X-ray but must be diagnosed with an MRI.  There are no accurate physical examination tests to diagnose Bone Marrow Edema.  Once diagnosed Bone Marrow Edema should be treated similarly to a stress fracture to ensure healing.

Bone Marrow Edema can only be seen on MRI

How do you effectively treat Bone Marrow Edema?

To effectively treat Bone Marrow Edema, you must stop all aggravating activities such as running and jumping sports.  In more severe cases it is wise to use crutches and eventually a walking boot to allow the bone time to heal.  At San Diego Running Institute we employ the Altered Gravity Treadmill which allows us to “unweight” the patient and reduce stress on the bone.  This allows the runner or athlete to continue to run while their bone is healing and speed recovery time.

Bone Marrow Edema Diagnosis

If you are suffering from bone pain or Bone Marrow Edema and want an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, then call San Diego Running Institute today. Dr. Allen D.C. will perform a series of tests to differentiate your condition between Bone Marrow Edema, Stress Fracture, Tendonitis and Muscle Strain. If necessary, he will order an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Dr. Allen D.C. will explain your condition to you in detail and provide you with all possible treatment options. To make an appointment call (858) 268-8525. All major health insurances are accepted.