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Original articles  SPORT INJURIES AND REHABILITATION 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 June;42(2):198-206

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Characteristics of stress fractures in young athletes under 20 years

Ohta-Fukushima M., Mutoh Y., Takasugi S. *, Iwata H. **, Ishii S. ***

From the Department of Physical and Health Education Graduate School of Education The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan *Department of Orthopedic Surgery Kyushu University School of Medicine Fukuoka, Japan **Department of Orthopedic Surgery Nagoya University School of Medicine Nagoya, Japan ***Department of Orthopedic Surgery Sapporo Medical University Sapporo, Japan


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Back­ground. ­With the pop­u­lar­iza­tion of orga­nized ­sports ­among ado­les­cents and chil­dren, the clin­i­cal cas­es of ­stress frac­tures in ­young ath­letes ­have ­increased. ­This ­study was car­ried out to inves­ti­gate the char­ac­ter­is­tics of ­stress frac­tures in ­young ath­letes.
Meth­ods. Dur­ing the 18-­month peri­od ­between Jan­u­ary 1996 and ­June 1997, new clin­i­cal cas­es of ­stress frac­ture due to ­sports activ­ities ­were col­lect­ed ­from 39 hos­pi­tals in ­Japan.
­Results. We ana­lyzed 222 ­stress frac­tures in 208 ath­letes ­under 20 ­years of age (108 ­males: 14.4±2.2 ­years, 100 ­females: 15.2±1.5 ­years). ­Among ­these cas­es, the ­peak age of occur­rence was 16. The ­most com­mon ­sport caus­ing ­stress frac­ture was bas­ket­ball. The tib­ia was the ­most com­mon loca­tion. ­About 70% of the ­patients par­tic­i­pat­ed in the respec­tive ­sport for 6 or 7 ­days per ­week. ­High ­school stu­dents ­trained sig­nif­i­cant­ly ­more ­often ­than the pri­mary and jun­ior ­high ­school stu­dents (p<0.0001). ­There was a sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the ­return ­time to the ­sport ­between the cas­es who vis­it­ed a hos­pi­tal with­in 3 ­weeks and ­those who wait­ed for ­more ­than 3 ­weeks ­after the ­onset of symp­toms (­return ­time, 10.4 vs 18.4 wks). Sev­er­al cas­es vis­it­ed a hos­pi­tal ­beyond 8 ­weeks ­after the ­onset of symp­toms regard­less of the con­tin­u­ous ­pain of ­stress frac­ture, and ­their recov­ery was pro­longed.
Con­clu­sions. It is impor­tant to edu­cate ­young ath­letes ­that con­tin­u­ous ­pain last­ing ­over 3 ­weeks is a warn­ing sig­nal to the ­body, and ­that ear­ly diag­no­sis ­leads to ear­ly recov­ery.

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