Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 103–109 | Cite as

Stress fractures: Pathophysiology, epidemiology, and risk factors

  • Stuart J. WardenEmail author
  • David B. Burr
  • Peter D. Brukner


A stress fracture represents the inability of the skeleton to withstand repetitive bouts of mechanical loading, which results in structural fatigue and resultant signs and symptoms of localized pain and tenderness. To prevent stress fractures, an appreciation of their risk factors is required. These are typically grouped into extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors. Extrinsic risk factors for stress fractures are those in the environment or external to the individual, including the type of activity and factors involving training, equipment, and the environment. Intrinsic risk factors for stress fractures refer to characteristics within the individual, including skeletal, muscle, joint, and biomechanical factors, as well as physical fitness and gender. This article discusses these extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors, as well as the pathophysiology and epidemiology of stress fractures.


Stress Fracture Overuse Injury Military Recruit Bone Strain Bone Loading 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart J. Warden
    • 1
    Email author
  • David B. Burr
  • Peter D. Brukner
  1. 1.Department of Physical TherapyIndiana UniversityIndianapolisUSA

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