Stress Fractures of the Hip

Understanding Stress Fractures of the Hip

Stress fractures of the hip entail a break in the upper part of the femur, predominantly occurring below the femoral neck, where it connects with the hip socket. Typically associated with high-impact activities, these fractures are prevalent among athletes such as distance runners and ballet dancers.

Causes of Stress Fractures of the Hip

  1. Repetitive Trauma: Prolonged stress on the femoral bone due to repetitive activities.
  2. Overuse: Engaging in activities that excessively strain the hip.
  3. Rapid Increase in Activity Level: Sudden escalation in physical exertion.
  4. Nutritional Deficiencies: Inadequate intake of essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.
  5. Low BMI: Lower body mass index may contribute to bone weakening.

Signs and Symptoms

Early-stage stress fractures may not be discernible on regular X-rays but are often accompanied by:

  • Groin pain exacerbated by activity.
  • Persistent aching relieved by rest.

Untreated Complications

Neglected stress fractures may lead to severe consequences, including:

  • Complete femoral bone breakage.
  • Dislocation or weakening of the femur.
  • Osteonecrosis due to compromised blood supply.
  • Chronic hip pain.


Early diagnosis is crucial, typically involving X-rays followed by MRI or bone scans for confirmation.


Immediate cessation of stress-inducing activities is imperative. Treatment options include:

  • Activity modification to alleviate symptoms.
  • A crutch is used for mild cases or complete rest for larger fractures.
  • Surgery for significant fractures resistant to natural healing.


Preventive measures encompass:

  • Opting for low-impact activities.
  • Strengthening hip muscles through regular exercises.
  • Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D to fortify bone health.

Recognizing the signs, prompt diagnosis, and appropriate management are pivotal in mitigating the impact of stress fractures of the hip, while preventive measures play a crucial role in averting their occurrence.

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