Sacral Stress Fracture
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- Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles
- Having gone through menopause
- Adolescents with incomplete bone growth
- Playing certain sports that may result in collisions or falls, such as gymnastics, football, or other high-impact sports
- Long-distance running
- Weight-bearing activities, such as weight lifting or military training
- Radiation therapy
- History of Paget’s disease, hyperparathyroidism, osteopenia, or rheumatoid arthritis
- Pain in hip or pelvis
- Pain in buttocks or groin
- Increase in pain during exercise
- Lower back tenderness
- Swelling at lower back
- Over-the-counter medications to reduce inflammation and pain
- Prescription pain relievers
Rest and Recovery
- Electrical stimulation—Electrical and magnetic impulses stimulate enzymes to increase bone cell formation.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy—High-energy shock waves are passed through body tissues. The waves stimulate growth factors to increase bone cell formation.
- Vertebroplasty—Small amounts of bone cement are injected into fracture lines guided by CT scan. It is not known what the long-term side effects of the cement are. Because of this, vertebroplasty is used on a limited basis.
- Make gradual changes in intensity when exercising.
- Use proper equipment and technique when playing sports.
- Talk to your doctor about how to prevent osteoporosis.
- Clean spills and slippery areas right away.
- Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower.
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub.
- Put in handrails on both sides of stairways.
- Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls.
- Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage.
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
The University of British Columbia Department of Orthopaedics http://orthopaedics.med.ubc.ca
Hosey RG, et al. Evaluation and Management of Stress Fractures of the Pelvis and Sacrum. Orthopedics. 2008; 31:383.
Lin JT, Lane JM. Sacral stress fractures. Journal of Women’s Health. 2003;12(9):879-888.
Longhino V, Bonora C. The management of sacral stress fractures: current concepts. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2011;8(3):19-23.
Low back pain fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail%5Fbackpain.htm. Updated August 3, 2015. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Micheli LJ, Curtis C. Stress Fractures in the Spine and Sacrum. Clinics in Sports Medicine. Jan 2006;25(1).
Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00053. Updated October 2007. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Stress fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00112. Updated October 2007. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Zaman FM. Sacral stress fractures. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2006;5(1):37-43.
- Reviewer: Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
- Review Date: 08/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -