Injuries to runners

Brubaker & James 1974

Overview of prevalence and anatomical site of stress fractures pulled from a Eugene othropaedic clinic’s database, consisting of mostly runners from the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and Eugene high schools from 1955-1972. 109 cases of stress fracture were included from a total of 4850 records.

Categorical variables:

  • Runner’s competitive events
    • sprint: < 440yd, middle: 440-mile, distance: > mile.
  • type of injury
  • treatment
  • disposition of injury (outcome)

17 (15.6% of total injuries) were reported as stress fractures, with 12 of them being middle/long distance. Table III has the breakdown of fracture type (41% tibia, but see distance runner 3rd met combination):

Treatment was mostly Rest, with some PT, and the most popular treatment duration was 3-8 weeks (8 of 17 cases) but 3 out of 17 cases required 1-3 weeks or 2-6 months. Good news is that everyone seemed to recover from them with all cases resulting in a “good” - “apparently good” disposition.

Compared to joggers, these competitive runners have more incidence of stress fractures (1% (per Glick and Katch 1970) vs 16%).

They suspect (I think reasonably so) that different mechanisms may be responsible for fractures at different locations.

Notable Citations:

  1. Glick & Katch (1970) Muskuloskeletal injuries in jogging.