Imaging of stress fractures

Author(s): Dr Thomas Luff, Dr Abdul Gafoor

Hospital: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 44, 518, 18-19

Excerpt: 

A stress fracture is an overuse injury in that repetitive mechanical loading of bone leads to bone damage that exceeds bone repair over time. This article refers to this type of overuse injury as opposed to an insufficiency fracture, which occurs due to normal physiological stresses on abnormal bone, commonly secondary to osteoporosis. Stress fractures are typically described in athletes, particularly runners and military personnel. They were first described as fractured metatarsals in soldiers. Timely diagnosis is important in assessing further treatment and return to normal activities. The radiologist therefore plays a key role both in initial diagnosis and guiding further imaging.

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