Sacral Stress Fracture

(Sacral Stress)

Definition

A sacral stress fracture is a small break in the sacrum. The sacrum is a large triangular bone at base of the spine. The sacrum connects to the pelvis.
Sacrum
Sacrum
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Causes

Sacral stress fractures can be caused by repetitive stress or weakened bones.

Risk Factors

Sacral stress fractures are most common in young athletes and older women with osteoporosis. Other factors that may increase your chance of a sacral stress fracture include:
  • Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles
  • Having gone through menopause
  • Adolescents with incomplete bone growth
  • Playing certain sports that may result in collisions or falls, such as gymnastics, football, or other high-impact sports
  • Long-distance running
  • Weight-bearing activities, such as weight lifting or military training
  • Radiation therapy
  • History of Paget’s disease, hyperparathyroidism, osteopenia, or rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms

The most common symptom of a sacral stress fracture is low back pain. If you have unexplained lower back pain, talk to your doctor. Prompt treatment can prevent the injury from causing further problems.Other symptoms may include:
  • Pain in hip or pelvis
  • Pain in buttocks or groin
  • Increase in pain during exercise
  • Lower back tenderness
  • Swelling at lower back

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