Femoral neck stress fractures represent a relatively rare spectrum of injuries that most commonly affect military recruits and endurance athletes. If unrecognized and if proper treatment is not initiated, this condition carries potentially devastating consequences. Patients will typically present with an insidious onset, atraumatic hip, and groin pain that is relieved with rest. The condition may be initially misdiagnosed because radiographs are often normal. Magnetic resonance imaging has demonstrated superior specificity, sensitivity, and accuracy compared with other diagnostic modalities in identifying and classifying stress fractures of the femoral neck. Treatment algorithms are based on the MRI fracture morphology and presence of an intra-articular effusion. Nonsurgical management consists of a period of non-weight-bearing followed by gradual return to activity. Surgical management consists of prophylactic fracture fixation with cannulated screws to prevent fracture progression. If left untreated, patients may progress to a complete displaced femoral neck fracture, which can be associated with complications that include nonunion, osteonecrosis of the femoral head, and long-term disability. These poor outcomes emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of incomplete femoral neck stress fractures.





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