Munson Health
Stress Fracture

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by Smith CM

(Fracture, Stress)



The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and examine the injured area for localized pain and swelling.
Tests may include:
  • X-ray —to look for break in the bone
    • Stress fractures are very tiny and usually not seen on an x-ray until at least two weeks after symptoms begin.
  • MRI scan —to look for swelling and inflammation inside the bone
  • Bone scan —to look for evidence of a stress fracture


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

American Podiatric Medical Association



Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation



Marx RG, Saint-Phard D, Callahan LR, Chu J, Hannafin JA. Stress fracture sites related to underlying bone health in athletic females. Clin J Sport Med . 2001;11:73-76.

Sanderlin BW, Raspa RF. Common stress fractures. Am Fam Physician . 2003;68(8):1527. Available at .

Stress fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: . Updated October 2007. Accessed June 25, 2008.

Stress fractures. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at: . Updated November 3, 2006. Accessed June 25, 2008.

Wells CL. Women, Sport & Performance: A Physiological Perspective . Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1991.

Wheeler P, Batt ME. Do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs adversely affect stress fracture healing? A short review. Br J Sports Med . 2005;39:65-69.


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