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Stress Fractures

A stress fracture is an overuse injury and occurs when repetitive force is placed through a bone. Micro-fractures occur and are not allowed to heal before the next stress is placed upon them. It is common in athletes, especially young women.

Stress fractures often are the result of increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too rapidly. They also can be caused by the impact of an unfamiliar surface, improper equipment and increased physical stress. Most stress fractures are in the lower leg and the foot and in tennis, track and field, gymnastics, and basketball players. This is because in these sports, the repetitive stress of the foot striking the ground can cause trauma. Without sufficient rest between workouts or competitions, an athlete is at risk of developing a stress fracture.


Pain with activity is the most common complaint. The pain subsides with rest.


X-rays are used to diagnose stress fractures however they can be difficult to see and there can be a delay between symptom onset and radiographic findings. A Further different type of scan will be ordered to confirm the fracture.

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