Elbow Issues

Stress Fracture of the Hip

Doctors think that putting extreme stress on the bone over and over again causes stress fractures of the hip.Think of how you can break a metal paper clip by bending it back and forth repeatedly.

Bones can usually adapt to repetitive stress, and any change in the function of a bone causes it to change the way it is built. This is how small bumps and ridges form on bones. The tendons pull on these areas, and the bone adapts by building up. This is normal. But extreme stress repeated too often can overwhelm the bone’s ability to adapt. This is especially true when someone suddenly begins a new, strenuous, repetitive activity such as running.

Fatigue fractures are related to both the amount of exercise and how fast people increase their exercise program. The more people run or march, the more likely they are to develop a fatigue fracture. Research suggests that most athletes who develop stress fractures have been training for at least two years, six or more times a week. A stress fracture is more likely to occur after an increase in how far, how often, and how hard a person goes.

Women are up to 10 times more likely to develop fatigue fractures than men. The reasons for this are un-clear. Hormonal changes may make women athletes’ bones more likely to fracture. Eating disorders, which are more common in women athletes, may also make bones more likely to fracture.

Age also makes stress fractures of the hip more likely. This is thought to be due to declining levels of physical fitness more than age.

Most patients with stress fractures of the hip feel pain in the front of the groin while standing and moving. Rest usually makes the pain go away. Patients may limp. Strenuous activities, such as running and climbing stairs, may be so painful that the patient must stop doing them.