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Skeletal Radiol. 2007 Oct;36(10):951-4. Epub 2007 Jul 28.

Stress fractures of the ribs in elite competitive rowers: a report of nine cases.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Institute of Sport Medicine and Science of the Italian Olympic Committee, Via dei Campi Sportivi, 46, 00197 Rome, Italy. stefano.dragoni@coni.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to report the clinical and imaging patterns of nine cases of stress fractures of the rib diagnosed in Italian Olympic rowers.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Nine patients with stress fractures of the rib detected from 103 (8.7%) Italian team rowers competing between May 2000 and May 2006 were identified based on the database of a sports medicine institute. All athletes were male. They were aged between 17 and 31 years (mean: 24.4). Patient weight, fracture location, rowing side and imaging methods employed were noted.

RESULTS:

The diagnosis was made based on history, clinical examination and Tc-99m MDP bone scintigraphy. Eight of the 9 fractures were located anterolaterally between the fourth and ninth rib. In 1 of the 5 athletes with standard radiographs, a fracture line was visible and in 4 there was callus formation. In 2 athletes sonography was performed, which detected discontinuity of the rib surface and callus formation (1 case each).

CONCLUSION:

Stress fractures of the ribs are relatively common in competitive rowers. They are characterized by increasing lateral chest pain and typical scintigraphic, radiographic and sonographic findings.

PMID:
17661027
DOI:
10.1007/s00256-007-0350-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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