A Prospective Study of the Effect of a Shock-Absorbing Orthotic Device on the Incidence of Stress Fractures in Military Recruits
In a prospective study of stress fractures the hypothesis that a shock-absorbing orthotic device worn within military boots could lessen the incidence of stress fractures was tested. The incidence of metatarsal, tibial, and femoral stress fractures was lower in the orthotic group, but only the latter difference was statistically significant. The time of onset and the location of stress fractures between orthotic and nonorthotic users did not differ. These findings suggest that the incidence of femoral stress fractures, which are the most dangerous type of stress fracture because of their high risk of developing into displaced fractures, can be reduced by an orthotic device.