Preventing and managing stress fractures in athletes

Bennell, Kim and Brukner, Peter (2005) Preventing and managing stress fractures in athletes. Physical Therapy in Sport, 6 4: 171-180. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2005.07.002

Author Bennell, Kim
Brukner, Peter
Title Preventing and managing stress fractures in athletes
Journal name Physical Therapy in Sport   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1466-853X
Publication date 2005-11-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.ptsp.2005.07.002
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 6
Issue 4
Start page 171
End page 180
Total pages 10
Place of publication Edinburgh
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Language eng
Subject 110604 Sports Medicine
Abstract Stress fractures are common overuse injuries of bone resulting from the repeated application of submaximal load. Factors that reduce bone strength or increase the load applied to bone can place an athlete at risk of developing a stress fracture. These factors include low bone density, menstrual disturbances, inadequate dietary intake and eating disorders, training errors, inadequate muscle function and biomechanical features. Identification of the at-risk athlete can allow prevention strategies to be implemented. Diagnosis of a stress fracture is generally made clinically but investigations such as bone scan, CT or MRI can be performed to confirm the diagnosis, grade the stage of the bone response and localize the site. Most stress fractures will heal with modified rest and permit return to sport around 8 weeks. However, there is a group of stress fractures that requires additional treatment and special consideration. Treatment of the typical stress fracture requires pain management, modification (or cessation) of the aggravating activity, muscle strengthening and maintenance of aerobic fitness, identification and subsequent modification of risk factors and gradual resumption of bone loading activities. The use of braces has been shown to reduce the time to return to full activity in some lower limb stress fractures. Similarly the use of electrical stimulation and ultrasound may be helpful. Recovery should be monitored clinically.
Keyword Sports injuries - Patients - Rehabilitation
Sports physical therapy
Stress fracture
Risk factors
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 06 Apr 2009, 23:59:09 EST by Ms Karen Naughton on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences