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Taking a holistic approach to managing difficult stress fractures

Stress fractures and other bony stress injuries occur along a spectrum of severity which can impact treatment and prognosis. When treating these injuries, it should be borne in mind that no two stress fractures behave exactly alike. Given that they are not a consistent injury, standardized treatment protocols can be challenging to develop. Treatment should be individualized to the patient or athlete, the causative activity, the anatomical site, and the severity of the injury. A holistic approach to the treatment of the most difficult stress fractures should be taken by orthopedists and sports medicine specialists. This approach is necessary to obtain optimal outcomes, minimize loss of fitness and time away from sports participation, and decrease the risk of recurrence.

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