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Stress fracture

Stress fractures are very common in sports medicine. These form as the result of repeated and cyclical loading of the bone.

Diagnosis requires an accurate clinical analysis, during which your physician should be informed of typical physical activity performed and any recent changes to loading that may have occurred.

There are several predisposing factors that can increase the rick of suffering stress fractures, including playing sport on hard ground, and qualitative and quantitative variations in load and age.
Those most commonly affected by this kind of injury are long-distance runners, soldiers and elderly.

Around 2-3 weeks after the initial fracture, pain becomes unbearable and the patient has no choice, but to cease all, or almost all, physical activity.

Care must be take when diagnosing these injuries as sometimes a fracture can take 14-15 days after occurring to become visible on X-rays. For this reason, CT nad MRI scans may be required both in confirming diagnosis and assessing severity.

Treatment will differ according to the location and intensity of the fracture, ranging from a short immobilisation period and integrated rehabilitation, to a more prolonged period of immobilisation with a cast, and even surgical fixation.

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