Stress fractures, including both fatigue and insufficiency types, are frequently encountered in clinical practice as a source of pain in both athletes and patients with predisposing conditions. Radiography is the imaging modality of choice for baseline diagnosis. MRI has greatly improved our ability to diagnose radiographically occult stress fractures. Tc-99m bone scan and CT may also be useful as diagnostic tools. Although fatigue and insufficiency fractures can be self-limited and go onto healing even without diagnosis, there is usually value in initiating prompt therapeutic measures as incomplete stress fractures have the potential of progressing to completion and requiring more invasive treatment or delay in return to activity. This is particularly important in the setting of stress fractures of the femoral neck. Accuracy in the identification of these injuries is also relevant because the differential diagnosis includes entities that would otherwise be treated significantly different (ie, osteoid osteoma, osteomyelitis, and metastasis). The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
- Appropriate Use Criteria
- Appropriateness Criteria
- radiography stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging