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J Athl Train. 2002 Jul;37(3):306-14.

Mechanisms and management of stress fractures in physically active persons.

Author information

1
University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD;

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the anatomy of bone and the physiology of bone remodeling as a basis for the proper management of stress fractures in physically active people.

DATA SOURCES:

We searched PubMed for the years 1965 through 2000 using the key words stress fracture, bone remodeling, epidemiology, and rehabilitation.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Bone undergoes a normal remodeling process in physically active persons. Increased stress leads to an acceleration of this remodeling process, a subsequent weakening of bone, and a higher susceptibility to stress fracture. When a stress fracture is suspected, appropriate management of the injury should begin immediately. Effective management includes a cyclic process of activity and rest that is based on the remodeling process of bone.

CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS:

Bone continuously remodels itself to withstand the stresses involved with physical activity. Stress fractures occur as the result of increased remodeling and a subsequent weakening of the outer surface ofthe bone. Once a stress fracture is suspected, a cyclic management program that incorporates the physiology of bone remodeling should be initiated. The cyclic program should allow the physically active person to remove the source of the stress to the bone, maintain fitness, promote a safe return to activity, and permit the bone to heal properly.

PMID:
16558676
PMCID:
PMC164361

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