Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Stress Fractures Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Sep 10, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

These include the following:

  • Strains

  • Sprains

  • Contusions

  • Delayed-onset muscle soreness

  • Tumors of bone, especially osteoid osteomas

  • Shin splints (ie, medial tibial stress syndrome, tibial traction periostitis)

  • Exertion-related compartment syndrome

  • Referred pain from the spine

  • Diskogenic low back pain

  • Facet-mediated low back pain

  • Morton neuroma

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Subluxed cuboid

Pathological fracture due to malignant disease is an important differential diagnosis of stress fractures. Imaging can help differentiate malignant fractures. MRI has higher accuracy (93-98%) than computed tomography (CT) scanning (82-88%) or radiography (88-94%). [21]

Differential Diagnoses