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Clin Sports Med. 2012 Jul;31(3):535-67. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2012.04.001.

Infectious, inflammatory, and metabolic diseases affecting the athlete's spine.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0728, USA.


Sports and weight-bearing activities can have a positive effect on bone health in the growing, mature, or aging athlete. However, certain athletic activities and training regimens may place the athlete at increased risk for stress fractures in the spine. In addition, some athletes have an underlying susceptibility to fracture due to either systemic or focal abnormalities. It is important to identify and treat these athletes in order to prevent stress fractures and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in late adulthood. Therefore, the pre-participation physical examination offers a unique opportunity to screen athletes for metabolic bone disease through the history and physical examination. Positive findings warrant a thorough workup including a metabolic bone laboratory panel, and possibly a DEXA scan, which includes a lateral spine view.

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