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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 to buttocks or groin
- Increase in pain during your workout
- Lower back tenderness when touched
- 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 September 26, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014.
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 September 28, 2014.
Stress fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00112. Updated October 2007. Accessed September 28, 2014.
Zaman FM. Sacral stress fractures. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2006;5(1):37-43.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014
- Update Date: 09/30/2013