Hip Stress Fracture

Stress fracture of the hip is caused by repetitive micro-trauma to the bone over time. It differs from a high-energy hip fracture due to a fall or a pathological fracture due to osteoporosis or tumors. patients who suffer from stress fractures are most often high-mileage runners, military recruits, or individuals doing significant impact on sports activities. Symptoms include aching groin pain that increased with activity and is relieved by rest. Symptoms are usually noted after a recent increase in the level of activity, such as increasing running mileage. Hip stress fractures most often occur in the femoral neck which is just below the ball of the ball-and-socket hip joint. Stress fractures can occur in other areas of the hip and pelvis, but the femoral neck is the most common and most concerning location. Diagnosis is made based on medical history, physical examination, high clinical suspicion, and X-rays. Sometimes X-rays may not reveal the fracture and further imaging such as an MRI is required. Treatment requires the immediate cessation of activities that place stress on the joint and is very dependant on the specific location of the stress fracture in the femoral neck. It ranges from non-operative treatment with a period of rest and support to operative fixation. Neglected hip stress fractures can lead to serious problems, most notably the displacement of the fracture that would require surgery, and could lead to serious complications.