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A 39-year-old member asked:

Is a stress fracture the same thing as a compression fracture in your bone?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Heller
Gastroenterology 43 years experience
Not necessarily: Compression fractures of the spine are just that-squished bone. They can be due to excessive compressive force, e.g. Fall from a height; commonly seen in osteoporosis (weak, brittle bone). With osteoporosis can be thought of as an insufficiency fracture, with less force needed. Stress fractures don't have to occur in the spine, often don't-occur in foot, shin, pelvis. Not always w/osteoporosis.
Dr. Bennett Burns
Orthopedic Surgery 32 years experience
No: Think of a stress fracture as a piece of plastic being bent until it forms a white line of "microfractures" and eventually breaks- fatigue failure. Whereas a compression fracture is from too much weight suddenly applied to a bone- like dropping a bowling ball on a tile.

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A 46-year-old member asked:

Is a compression fracture the same as stress fracture?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brian Chimenti
Sports Medicine 27 years experience
Fracture : No. Compression fractures usually refer to injuries to the spine. When you are younger this can usually be a result of significant trauma. As we get older and the bones become weaker a compression fracture can result from osteoporosis. Stress fractures on the other hand can involve any bone in the body and occur as a result of overuse and stress.
Dr. David Trettin
Orthopedic Surgery 33 years experience
As above; comp. fx.'s are common in the thoracic spine in older patients w/ osteopenic bone;stress fx's are more common in younger pts. who increase their activity level abruptly ...( metatarsal s, tibia, femoral neck, etc).
Oct 16, 2013

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Last updated Feb 17, 2020

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