Stress fractures of the upper limb

Sports Med. 1998 Dec;26(6):415-24. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199826060-00004.


Stress fractures are commonly found in the lower limb, but also occur in the upper limb, and are particularly associated with upper limb-dominated sports such as tennis and swimming and those involving throwing activities. Stress fractures of the clavicle and scapula are rare but have been reported, whereas those of the humerus are more frequent and have been described mainly in adolescent baseball pitchers. Olecranon stress fractures occur in throwers and gymnasts. Stress fractures of the ulna and radius have also been reported in a number of different upper limb-dominated sports. In all cases, these fractures heal with conservative management. The physician should consider stress fracture as a possible diagnosis in cases of upper limb pain of bony origin where the pain is associated with overuse.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arm Injuries / etiology*
  • Athletic Injuries*
  • Clavicle / injuries
  • Elbow Injuries
  • Fractures, Stress / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Humeral Fractures / etiology
  • Scapula / injuries
  • Ulna Fractures / etiology