Lower limb stress fractures in sport: Optimising their management and outcome

Stress fractures in sport are becoming increasing more common, comprising up to 10% of all of sporting injuries. Around 90% of such injuries are located in the lower limb. This articles aims to define the optimal management of lower limb stress fractures in the athlete, with a view to maximise return rates and minimise return times to sport. Treatment planning of this condition is specific to the location of the injury. However, there remains a clear division of stress fractures by "high" and "low" risk. "Low risk" stress fractures are those with a low probability of fracture propagation, delayed union, or non-union, and so can be managed reliably with rest and exercise limitation. These include stress fractures of the Postero-Medial Tibial Diaphysis, Metatarsal Shafts, Distal Fibula, Medial Femoral Neck, Femoral Shaft and Calcaneus. "High risk" stress fractures, in contrast, have increased rates of fracture propagation, displacement, delayed and non-union, and so require immediate cessation of activity, with orthopaedic referral, to assess the need for surgical intervention. These include stress fractures of the Anterior Tibial Diaphysis, Fifth Metatarsal Base, Medial Malleolus, Lateral Femoral Neck, Tarsal Navicular and Great Toe Sesamoids. In order to establish the optimal methods for managing these injuries, we present and review the current evidence which guides the treatment of stress fractures in athletes. From this, we note an increased role for surgical management of certain high risk stress fractures to improve return times and rates to sport. Following this, key recommendations are provided for the management of the common stress fracture types seen in the athlete. Five case reports are also presented to illustrate the application of sport-focussed lower limb stress fracture treatment in the clinical setting. 

Autor / Fonte:Greg A J Robertson, Alexander M Wood World Journal of Orthopedics 2017 March 18, 8 (3): 242-255
Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359760/pdf/WJO-8-242.pdf