Stress fracture of the hip – usually a sports injury

Stress fracture of the hip – usually a sports injury

A stress fracture of the hip is rare. Here you can find out how she makes herself feel and what could be behind her hip problems.

The hip consists of two hip joints, one right and one left, each of which forms the transition between the femur and the corresponding pelvic bone. The upper end of the thigh bone is called the femoral neck. This is attached to the hip socket of the pelvic bone via what is called the femoral head.

Fatigue fractures rarely occur in the hip — fractures of this type occur more frequently in the foot and shin, for example. When a stress fracture occurs in the hip, the femur neck bone is usually affected. A typical sign is pain, which usually occurs during activity and goes away with rest.

How can exercise lead to stress fractures of the hip?

A stress fracture of the hip usually occurs as a result of permanent overloading of the bones through intense training or physical work. There is a risk above all in sports in which strong forces are repeatedly applied to the hips – for example in long-distance running.

Microscopic cracks form in the bones, which is not a problem at first: if the body is given enough time to regenerate, it can repair the cracks so that bone stability is maintained. However, if the athlete continues to overload the bones during this time, the repair cannot be completed. The cracks get bigger and more visible, making the bones more and more unstable – until they finally break.

In addition to overload, some impacts can increase your risk of developing a fatigue fracture. These include, in particular, eating disorders, underweight, as well as vitamin D deficiency.

Stress fracture of the hip due to disease

When bones are unstable due to osteoporosis or other diseases, normal stresses can lead to stress fractures in the hip. In this case, experts also speak of an insufficiency fraction (insufficient means insufficient). This shows that the bones are not strong enough to withstand daily wear and tear.

Older women are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis. The reason for this is that during menopause, the body produces less estrogen, which is important for bone metabolism, among other things.

Stress fracture of the hip – what to do?

Anyone experiencing hip or groin pain should make an appointment at an orthopedic clinic. An orthopedist can determine if it is in fact a stress fracture or rather another type of injury or disease that also manifests as hip problems – such as osteoarthritis (wearing of the joints) or gout.

Pain can only be treated in a targeted and effective manner once the cause has been identified. If a stress fracture is indeed found by a doctor, treatment often consists solely of continued rest: the bone grows back together on its own if given enough time. Surgery is rarely necessary.

If a stress fracture can be traced back to certain risk factors or a disease, treatment should, if possible, combat those factors as well.

Hip stress fracture – when to break?

After the examination, the doctor will be able to estimate how long the break should last. Recovery usually takes several weeks. Once the pain has completely subsided, there’s usually nothing wrong with putting weight on the bones again – but carefully and gradually. Athletes must be careful not to overdo it when they start training again, otherwise there is a risk of re-fatigue fractures.


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