Time to return to running after tibial stress fracture in female Division I collegiate track and field

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Abstract

Background:

We examined the relationship between the Kaeding-Miller (K-M) stress fracture classification system with time to return to running or practice in female track and field athletes diagnosed with tibial stress fracture.

Methods:

All female athletes with tibial stress injuries who competed for a Division I university from 2011-2014 were identified. Their charts were reviewed retrospectively to collect demographic variables, medical history, training variables, injury history, and nutritional or dietary risk factors. The K-M classification system was used to grade all injuries and to compare the time to return to practice. Body mass index (BMI) was evaluated independently with time to recovery.

Results:

Twenty-four tibial stress injuries were identified in 18 female track and field athletes on the same Division I collegiate team over a 3-year period. The average time to return to running was 13.7 wk (SD 5.02). Athletes with a K-M grade of V had an average time to return to running of 17 wk compared with 11.7 and 13.7 in Grade II and III, respectively. This difference did not reach significance (P=0.534), but there was a positive relationship between K-M grade and time to recovery (coefficient=0.785). There was no statistically significant relationship between BMI and time to return to sport (P=0.767), but there was an inverse relationship between BMI and time to clinical healing (coefficient=−0.191).

Conclusions:

Data suggest that higher K-M grade injuries correlate with longer time to recovery, but larger studies are needed to determine if this relationship is significant.

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