How to prevent hip stress fracture in runners

Escrito por: Mr Rishi Chana
Publicado: | Actualizado: 18/04/2019
Editado por: Laura Burgess

Hip injuries are especially common in runners and triathletes. Stress fractures almost always occur when runners are trying to increase their miles before a big race because the bone simply cannot take the overuse. Expert orthopaedic surgeon Mr Rishi Chana suggests preventive measures to take to stay safe and pain-free when exercising and what potential symptoms to pay attention to.

What are the symptoms of a hip stress fracture?

The symptoms of a hip stress fracture include:

  • Hip pain in the front thigh region
  • Groin pain in the inner skin crease - this worsens when running or hopping
  • It hurts when lying down
  • Pain almost always gets worse with activity - do not try and run through the pain

If you this type of pain, you can ask yourself two questions:

1. Have I upped my training too fast too soon?
2. How is my bone density? This is a significant risk factor and formal osteoporosis (very low bone density) does not have to exist for a stress fracture to occur.

If you cannot hop on the affected leg and think you have a stress fracture, please do not continue your routine. It is recommended to visit a specialist.

How is hip stress fracture diagnosed?

A good clinical examination is always important. X-rays are helpful but an MRI scan is the gold standard to show whether a stress fracture has occurred. A bone density scan is also recommended to check that your bones are in good health.

What treatment is required?

In mild cases, the fracture will heal if activity is altered and crutches may be used to protect the hip for a few weeks. Use dynamic rest and stop any activity that impacts the hip joint. Use the upper body and core workouts to maintain your fitness.

Supplement your calcium and vitamin D intake. We require 1,300 milligrams a day and vitamin D is made by your skin naturally in sunshine so make the most of this when the sun is out. It’s important to stay covered up in the sun, wearing sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 20, and a hat and sunglasses.

Slowly strengthen your body slowly as the fracture heals. It may take up to three months for the bone to heal. Gradually add lower body exercises to your routine but consultation is recommended before returning to any impact activity.

How can hip stress fracture be prevented?

The following tips can be followed to prevent stress fracture:

• Increase your calcium and vitamin D - take milk and yoghurt or supplements, especially if you have a family history of osteoporosis.
• Follow the 10 per cent rule - never up your weekly running mileage by more than 10 per cent.
• Train your hips and core - the stronger your core muscles, glutes, hips and legs are, the more support your hip joint will have against injury with regular impact.
• If you have this type of pain or problem, it is recommended to see an orthopaedic surgeon for investigation and advice.

If a stress fracture is unrecognised and left untreated, ongoing activity can lead to a full break. This may be unstable and require urgent surgical fixation to prevent it from moving or displacing as this can jeopardise the hip joint, putting it at risk.

It is important to recognise a stress fracture early to prevent this from happening.


How long will it take to recover?

Rehabilitation starts with two to four weeks of protected weight-bearing. Strengthening exercises take place at six to eight weeks. The average time it takes to return to sport following recovery is 12 weeks.


Do not hesitate to book an appointment with a specialist for advice following a sports injury. 

Por Mr Rishi Chana

El Sr. Rishi Chana es un consultor experto en traumatología y cirujano ortopédico con sede en Londres y sus alrededores. Se especializa en cirugía de extremidades inferiores, en particular cirugía de cadera y rodilla. Es un experto en la realización de artroscopias de cadera y rodilla, cirugía de preservación de articulaciones, reemplazos de cadera y rodilla, y está certificado para realizar la cirugía de cadera y rodilla más precisa del mundo.

Graduado de la Royal Medical Hospital Medical School (Universidad de Londres, 1999), el Sr. Chana es ahora miembro del Colegio Real de Cirujanos (Trauma y Ortopedia) (FRCS Tr & Orth). Se entrenó con becas en artroscopia de cadera y completó una beca de renombre mundial en Sydney, que lo capacitó para brindar un servicio de reemplazo de articulaciones excepcionalmente de alta calidad con rehabilitación mejorada. El Sr. Chana se desempeñó como Líder del Miembro Inferior en Ashford & St Peters Hospital en 2017, y actualmente ejerce en varios lugares, entre ellos el Spire Thames Valley Hospital , Schoen Clinic, Londres y varios hospitales de BMI . También es parte de la Clínica Ortopédica de Surrey .

El Sr. Chana tiene una amplia experiencia, pudiendo tratar a pacientes adultos tanto jóvenes como mayores con dolor en la cadera, la ingle y la pelvis. Sus pacientes incluyen atletas que sufren afecciones como desgarros del labrum y pinchazos, y tiene un historial de regresarlos a la acción. Enfatiza la atención al paciente y, como resultado, logra un alto nivel de satisfacción del paciente.

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