Increased risk of stress fractures of the ribs in elite rowers

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1997 Feb;7(1):49-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.1997.tb00117.x.


In rowing, stress fractures are rare. However, the intensity of training has increased in terms of more specific rowing movements throughout the year. Simultaneously, new equipment has been developed resulting in faster rowing over the racing distance with increased risk of injuries on bones, muscles and ligaments. We report five cases of chest pain and one case of pain in the shoulder in national elite rowers, diagnosed as stress fractures of the ribs employing 99mTechnetium-MDP bone scan. In all cases, an increase or alteration in physical activity in the weeks prior to the injury and an increase in specific rowing movements with special emphasis on the new equipment, combined with increased biomechanical stress applied to the thoratic skeleton in the catch and the early part of the drive phase of the stroke, most probably caused the injuries.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Fractures, Stress / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Stress / etiology*
  • Fractures, Stress / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training / methods
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Ribs / diagnostic imaging
  • Ribs / injuries*
  • Sports*
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate