Stress fractures are common in athletics and are more prevalent in women. The current literature has not identified a reason for this gender difference. We hypothesized that females with a history of a second/third metatarsal stress fracture will demonstrate differences in ankle kinematics, kinetics and ground reaction forces when compared with a group of age-matched females with no stress fracture history. A total of 15 control females and nine females with a history of a second/third metatarsal stress fracture were asked to run at 3.3m/s+/-5% along a 10-m runway. Kinematics and kinetics were obtained using an 8-camera motion analysis system (240Hz) and two force plates (1200Hz). Significant differences existed in height and weight between the groups. No other statistically significant differences existed between the fracture group and the control group. Kinematic measurements do not differ significantly between women with a history of second/third metatarsal stress fracture and female control subjects. The reported kinematic and kinetic measurements do not appear to be influenced in subjects with metatarsal stress fractures, which likely result from the complex relationships between the joints in the foot and ankle. The development of second/third metatarsal stress fractures could result more from over training or changes in plantar loading instead of changes in lower extremity joint kinematics while running.
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