Background: The fifth metatarsal bone is a common site of stress fractures in soccer athletes. Although several endocrine risk factors for stress fractures have been proposed, the endocrine risks for fifth metatarsal (5-MT) stress fractures have not been evaluated.
Methods: To evaluate the endocrine risks of fifth metatarsal stress fractures, we conducted a cumulative case-control study. The present study included 37 athletes, of which 18 had a history of a zone 2 or zone 3 fifth metatarsal stress fracture and 19 controls. We analyzed serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD), serum parathyroid hormone (PTH), as well as biochemical markers of bone turnover by univariate or multivariate analyses.
Results: Logistic regression analyses adjusted for multiple confounders revealed that insufficient serum 25-OHD levels less than 30 ng/mL (odds ratio [OR], 23.3), higher serum PTH levels (OR, 1.01), or higher serum bone-specific isoform of alkaline phosphatase levels (OR, 1.10) rather than serum tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b were associated with statistically significantly increased odds of 5-MT stress fractures. A postestimation calculation demonstrated that 25-OHD levels of 10 and 20 ng/mL were associated with 5.1 and 2.9 times greater odds for 5-MT stress fractures, respectively.
Conclusion: 25-OHD insufficiency was associated with an increased incidence of 5-MT stress fractures. This insight may be useful for intervening to prevent 5-MT stress fractures.
Level of evidence: Level III, case-control study.
Keywords: fifth metatarsal stress fracture; soccer athletes; vitamin D.
© The Author(s) 2015.