13-3 Sacral Stress Fracture in a Triathlete
Sacral Stress Fracture in a Triathlete: A Single Case Study
Gali Dar PhD, PT, Maya Cale-Benzoor MSc, PT
Stress fracture of the sacrum is an overuse injury that manifests itself by low back pain. Though more prevalent among athletes, it is a rare condition. This case study describes a sacral stress fracture diagnosed in a triathlete who presented with severe low back pain following an intensive training period. The diagnosis was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the prescribed treatment consisted of rest, strengthening exercises and low intensity ultrasound for bone stimulation (Exogen Therapy). Following this conservative management approach, the athlete was able to resume full athletic activity three months following the onset of his symptoms.
Physical therapists should be familiar with the clinical presentation of a sacral stress fracture when evaluating patients with complaints of low back pain. In particular, we would like to raise awareness of this possibility when treating athletes who may be at high risk for overload injuries affecting the bony skeleton.
Key words: stress fracture, low back pain, pelvis, sacrum, athlete.