A stress fracture of the neck of the femur. It causes pain in the groin and down the front of the thigh, sometimes as far as the knee. If caused by compression, it usually affects the lower, medial margin of the neck. If caused by a distraction, it affects the upper margin of the neck. The compression type is more common in young athletes, especially long-distance runners. The distraction type tends to affect elderly people. It is potentially more dangerous because the fracture lines may disrupt the blood supply to the head: death of bone cells leads to osteoarthritis and other complications. Treatment depends on the severity and precise location of the stress fracture. Conservative treatment (cessation of activity, bed rest, the use of crutches) is often sufficient for undisplaced fractures, but displaced fractures often require surgical reduction and fixation.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.