Low-risk stress fractures

Am J Sports Med. 2001 Jan-Feb;29(1):100-11. doi: 10.1177/03635465010290010201.


Stress fractures can occur in almost any bone in the body, with the lower extremity weightbearing bones, especially the tibia, tarsals, and metatarsals, being affected most frequently. Although the cause of these fractures is multifactoral, repetitive physical forces without adequate rest are the primary culprits. Stress fractures may be broadly classified as low-risk or high-risk injuries. Low-risk stress fractures, the topic of this review article, can be diagnosed through a thorough history, physical examination, and radiographs. Nuclear scintigraphy is occasionally necessary for confirmation, especially for fractures of the spine and pelvis. When diagnosed early and treated with restriction of activity, low-risk stress fractures have a favorable prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fracture Fixation / methods*
  • Fractures, Stress* / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Stress* / etiology
  • Fractures, Stress* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Physical Examination
  • Prognosis
  • Rest
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Weight-Bearing