A study of intrinsic factors in patients with stress fractures of the tibia

Foot Ankle Int. 1996 Aug;17(8):477-82. doi: 10.1177/107110079601700808.


We aimed to study intrinsic factors in 29 consecutive patients with well-documented unilateral stress fractures of the tibia. Anthropometry, range of motion, isokinetic plantar flexor muscle performance, and gait pattern were analyzed. The uninjured leg served as the control. A reference group of 30 uninjured subjects was compared regarding gait pattern. Anterior stress fractures of the tibia (N = 10) were localized in the push-off/ landing leg in 9/10 athletes, but were similarly distributed between legs in posteromedial injuries (N = 19). Ten (30%) of the stress fracture subjects had bilateral high foot arches, similar to those found in the reference group. There were no other systematic differences in anthropometry, range of motion, gait pattern, or isokinetic plantar flexor muscle peak torque and endurance between injured and uninjured legs. No other differences were found between anterior and posteromedial stress fractures. We conclude that anterior stress fractures of the tibia occur mainly in the push-off/landing leg in athletes. Within the limitations of our protocol, no registered intrinsic factor was found to be directly associated with the occurrence of a stress fracture of the tibia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Athletic Injuries* / complications
  • Female
  • Fractures, Stress / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Stress / etiology*
  • Fractures, Stress / physiopathology
  • Gait / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Pressure
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Tibial Fractures / epidemiology
  • Tibial Fractures / etiology*
  • Tibial Fractures / physiopathology