Your bones have capability to adapt to repetitive stress over a period of time. However, if the physical stress becomes extreme that your body can’t cope with and is repeated too often not allowing enough time for the bone to adapt, then this can overwhelm the bone’s ability to adapt. This is when the stress fractures appear in your bones. Mostly seen after strenuous exercise, such as running long distances.
It is also dependant on the intensity and training and span of the program. Running on hard surfaces like concrete sidewalks or asphalt may also cause additional stress. Stress fractures of the hip are related to amount of exercise and how fast you increase your exercise program.
Essentially stress fractures are injuries to the bone that result from overuse activity.
Stress fractures of the hip
- This is marked by pain in the front of the hip joint (groin) while doing any activity like standing or moving. Pain gets at ease after rest.
Stress fracture can also develop in your pelvic bone.
- Pelvic stress fracture symptoms include tenderness over the inferior pubic ramus at the bottom of the pelvis.
- Pelvic stress fractures occur most often in female runners or this can also be seen in military recruits.
- Most frequently felt in the area of the inferior pubic ramus. This is the lowest part of the pelvic girdle, where the hamstring and groin muscles are attached.
- Can also occur at the pubic symphysis which is the area in front joint between the two pelvic bones.
Diagnosis of Stress Fractures:
- X-ray cannot rule out a stress fracture. However, in the past, we used to request a nuclear bone scan to diagnose a stress fracture. But this is now overtaken by an MRI scan which has 100% sensitivity.
Treatment of Stress Fracture:
- Primarily symptoms resolve with rest.
- Avoiding the strenuous activity which caused the symprtoms in the first place.
- Try to stay off the feet as much as possible for the first 2 weeks.
- Apply cold therapy or ice to the painful area
- Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen which helps to relieve pain and discomfort.
- Most of the hip stress fractures will heal well without the need for surgery. Very occasionally, surgery might be advised if the fracture is a distraction-type fracture, or the fracture looks in danger of displacing.
If you believe you have a stress fracture in your hip, please contact your physician immediately for treatment.