Stress Fractures of Sacrum

Liimatainen E1, Alonso J3, Lempainen L1,2, Johansson K1, Sarimo J1,2, Frantzen J2, Orava S1,2

1 Department of Sports Medicine and Paavo Nurmi Center, University ofTurku, Finland

2 Hospital NEO and Sports Trauma Research Center, Turku, Finland

3 Sports Medicine Department, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Abstract: Background: Stress fractures of sacrum are rare overuse injuries. They are difficult to diagnose, because usually the symptoms are thought to result from other reasons in the pelvic area. Purpose:To report a series of sacral stress fractures in athletes and physically active older individuals.Study design:Case series.Methods:During the years 1996 –2009 a total of 40 cases of sacrum stress fractures were treated in Private Hospital Sports Clinic in Turku, Finland and RFEAClinic, Madrid, Spain. MRI was used for diagnosis in all patients but one.Results:All athletes were able to start running 2.5 months after the diagnosis and full training was possible after 3.5 months. Initial radiography was negative in all patients.Conclusion:Early MRI is recommended in endurance runners. Older individuals and amenorrheic females with possibly osteoporotic bones require longer resting period from impact training. Compensative training program is safe and doesn’t interfere the healing of sacrum stress fracture. Key words:sacrum, stress fracture, insufficiency fracture, athlete, older individuals, sports.

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