Stress Fractures in Females

Jose A. Rivera, DPM, FABFAS

Females are 3.5 times more likely than men to develop stress fracture with approximately 13% of female runners developing a stress fracture at one point during their lifetime.

Common causes can be divided to training factors and female specific factors.  Training factors can include training errors such as increasing mileage too quickly or “over” training, change in training surface, and starting speed work.  Female specific factors can include
menstrual disturbances, Osteoporosis/decreased bone density, and Endocrine Factors (Calcium deficiency, Vitamin D deficiency).  The “Female Triad” is a common term utilized for females who suffer a stress fracture and present with amenorrhea, decrease bone density, and an eating disorder.

Work up should include diagnostic testing (such as Xrays, CT Scan, MRI), Laboratory work up (Vitamins, Thyroid, etc), and proper history.

Treatment will require avoidance of all high impact activity and often immobilization in a walking boot.  Return to activity/running can take up to 8 weeks.

If you are a female runner experiencing chronic pain and swelling on your foot, contact OrthoRegenX for a detailed work up and to learn how our advanced therapies can help you recover faster!