DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.246 ISSN:

261 Bilateral Femoral Neck Stress Fractures in an Active Adolescent Female: A Case Report

M Nichols, A Aggarwal, K Duke
  • Surgery


Bilateral femoral neck stress fractures are uncommon injuries in adolescents. We present such a case in a 15-year-old athletic female with no preceding trauma or underlying metabolic bone abnormality. The patient presented to Accident and Emergency with a three-week history of left buttock and lateral thigh pain and one-week history of right lateral thigh pain. The pain developed during physical activity and was relieved upon rest. Activities included running, dancing, and attendance at a six-week cadet marching course. Simple analgesia did not alleviate the pain. History revealed low caloric intake and previous secondary amenorrhea. The patient was previously managed by the General Practitioner and physiotherapist for suspected atypical sciatica.

Physical examination showed a minimally antalgic gait and pain on palpation of the left groin. Both hips had full range of motion. Bone profile was normal. Radiographic films were initially interpreted as normal, however, formal reporting revealed sclerotic appearances to both femoral necks and a subtle break in the left femoral neck cortex. MRI confirmed the diagnosis of a complete displaced left femoral neck fracture and incomplete right inferomedial femoral neck fracture. Trace bilateral hip joint effusions were noted.

The patient underwent bilateral fixation with cannulated screws. One-month post-operative, she engaged in walking and swimming without pain. Radiographic appearances were satisfactory.

Early radiographic changes associated with stress fractures are subtle. This case highlights the importance of prompt formal radiological reporting and the early use of MRI as a diagnostic tool, particularly in patients with risk factors.

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