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Leg length discrepancies in elite track and field athletes with stress fractures
  1. Markos Kostopoulos,
  2. Nikolaos Malliaropoulos,
  3. Agapi Papalada
  1. National Track & Field Centre, Sports Medicine Clinic of S.E.G.A.S., Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract

Introduction The purpose of this study is to analyse the presence of leg length discrepancies in track and field athletes with stress fractures.

Material-Methods During 1990–2007 we studied 88 track and field athletes (43 male 45 female) with lower limp stress fractures.The age of the athletes ranged from 18 to 30 years old. We estimated the anatomic leg length of each athlete and evaluated the connection between the injured leg and the asymmetry in lower limb length.

Results From the total of 88 athletes 72 (82%) had anisomelia, 22 (31%) had R-leg anisomelia and 50 (69%) had L-leg anisomelia. Male were 43(49%) athletes and 45 athletes were female (51%). The 34 male athletes (79%) had anisomelia, 12 (35%) R-leg anisomelia and 22 (65%) L-leg anisomelia. The 84% (38 female athletes) had anisomelia, the 10 (26%) had R-leg anisomelia and the 28 (74%) had L-leg anisomelia.

From the 72(82%), anisomelic athletes 23 (32%) had L-leg anisomelia and (L) stress fracture, 12 (17%) R-leg anisomelia and (R) stress fracture, 9 athletes (12%) L-leg anisomelia and (R) stress fracture and 23 (32%) had R-leg anisomelia and (L) stress fracture.

From the 34 anisomelic male athletes (79%), 12 (35%) had L-leg anisomelia and (L) stress fracture, 8 (24%) R-leg anisomelia and (R) stress fracture, 3 athletes (9%) L-leg anisomelia and (R) stress fracture and 8 (29%) had R-leg anisomelia and (L) stress fracture.

From the 38(84%) anisomelic female athletes, 11 (29%) had L-leg anisomelia and (L) stress fracture, 4 (10%) R-leg anisomelia and (R) stress fracture, 6 athletes (16%) L-leg anisomelia and (R) stress fracture and 13 (34%) had R-leg anisomelia and (L) stress fracture.

Finally, from the 16 isomelic athletes (18%), 7 (43%) had (L) stress fracture and 9 (57%) had (R) stress fracture.

From the nine isomelic male athletes (21%), two (22%) had (L) stress fracture and six (78%) had (R) stress fracture.

From the 7 isomelic female athletes (16%), 5 (71%) had (L) stress fracture and 2 (29%) had (R) stress fracture.

Conclusions Leg length anisomelia in athletes seems to increase the possibility of stress fractures.

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