Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tibial Stress Fracture Overview

What is a tibial stress fracture?
A person with a tibial stress fracture has a thin crack in the shinbone, caused by overuse of the lower leg. Tibial stress fractures are most common in competitive runners. Most people with tibial stress fractures recover completely with treatment.

What are the symptoms of a tibial stress fracture?
Symptoms of a tibial stress fracture include leg pain, swelling and tenderness, located over the front of the tibia. The pain is worse while running, jumping, or climbing.

How does the doctor treat a tibial stress fracture?
Treatment for a tibial stress fracture may include rest, elevation, cold compresses, a cane or crutches, and a leg cast or splint. Additional treatment for a tibial stress fracture may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and physical therapy.

Continue to Tibial Stress Fracture Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tibial Stress Fracture References
  1. Francisco AC, Nightingale RW, Guilak F, Glisson RR, Garrett WE Jr. Comparison of soccer shin guards in preventing tibia fracture. Am J Sports Med. 2000 Mar-Apr;28(2):227-33. [10751000]
  2. Jensen A, Dahl S. Stress fracture of the distal tibia and fibula through heavy lifting. Am J Ind Med. 2005 Feb;47(2):181-3. [15662637]
  3. Thacker SB, Gilchrist J, Stroup DF, Kimsey CD. The prevention of shin splints in sports: a systematic review of literature. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Jan;34(1):32-40. [11782644]
  4. Wilder RP, Sethi S. Overuse injuries: tendinopathies, stress fractures, compartment syndrome, and shin splints. Clin Sports Med. 2004 Jan;23(1):55-81, vi. [15062584]
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