Stress fractures—a prospective study amongst recruits

MJAFI MJAFI 2012;68:118–122 01/2012;


Stress fracture (SF) is the single most common cause for the lost number
of manpower days during training of recruits in the Armed Forces. This
prospective study was undertaken with a view to develop baseline data
on incidence of SF and to identify related variables.
A prospective study over a period of five years during 2004–2009 in
which a total of 8,570 recruits were enrolled at the start of their training
to find out the incidence and pattern of SFs.
A total of 604 (7.04%, 95% CI 6.40–7.40%) out of a total of 8,570
recruits sustained SF during the study period. The majority of fractures
occurred during basic training. The factors like urban residence, vegetarianism
and those without prior history of physical activity were found to
be associated with SF. Tibia was the commonest bone involved.
Prevention is undoubtedly the best approach in SF and other sports injuries.
Priority should be given to individuals with good sports and physical
activity background during recruitment. Intensity of training should be
gradually increased during first three months (12 weeks) of training.

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