Stress fractures are considered a relatively common athletic injury. Some authors also feel this disorder may be overlooked in many nonathletic patients. Three cases of stress fractures are presented. All had classical clinical pictures; however, two were athletes and one was not. The athletes' stress fractures were suspected early in the disease evolution, confirmed with a bone scan and proper care instituted to prevent extended morbidity. The nonathlete's case was misdiagnosed by another practitioner and allowed to progress to the level of a true fracture. Extended morbidity followed this case. The infrequent report of nonathlete stress fractures in the literature may have played a major role in this oversight. Stress fractures do occur in athletes and nonathletes. The history is the key to making an early diagnosis. Scintigraphy (bone scan) or plain films may be used to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other disorders.
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