Stress fractures are overuse injuries of bone. These fractures, which may be nascent or complete, result from repetitive subthreshold loading that, over time, exceeds the bone's intrinsic ability to repair itself. Briefhaupt originally described stress fractures in military recruits in 1855. Our present understanding of the pathophysiology of stress fractures and of bone's response to loading has been advanced by numerous studies investigating the epidemiology of stress fractures in military recruits and in athletes.
Stress fractures most commonly occur in the lower limbs as a result of the ground-reaction forces (GRFs) that must be dissipated during running, walking, marching, or jumping. Stress fractures of the vertebral arch, upper limbs, ribs, and even the scapula have also been described and are not uncommon in some sports.
Synonyms and related keywords:
fatigue fracture, insufficiency fracture, stress fracture of the lower limbs, lower limb stress fracture, overuse injury, overuse injuries, bone mineral density, disrupted bone homeostasis, inadequate bone repair, bone strain, pars interarticularis stress fracture, spondylolysis, neck of the femur stress fracture, femur neck stress fracture, tibia stress fracture, tibial stress fracture, stress fracture of the tibia, second metatarsal stress fracture
Jonathan C Reeser, MD 2007