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Reading the BonesActivity, Biology, and Culture$
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Elizabeth Weiss

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054988

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054988.001.0001

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Stress Fractures

Stress Fractures

(p.95) 5 Stress Fractures
Reading the Bones

Elizabeth Weiss

University Press of Florida

Stress fractures (or fatigue fractures) are covered in this chapter. Stress fractures are assumed to occur due to microcracks from repetitive forces that accumulate to result in a complete bone break, but these fractures can result from a single traumatic event. The most common location for stress fractures is the vertebral column; two common vertebral stress fractures include spondylolysis and clay-shoveler’s fractures. Spondylolysis fractures, which occur on the lumbar vertebrae, are the most often reported stress fractures. Non-activity causes of stress fractures and the closely related stress hernias, called Schmorl’s nodes, have been found in twin studies; these fractures and hernias seem to be correlated with normal anatomical variation found in the vertebral column. These anatomical variations are likely determined by genes.

Keywords:   anatomical variation, clay-shoveler’s fracture, microcracks, Schmorl’s nodes, spondylolysis, stress fractures

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