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Open AccessArticle

Cross-Sectional Investigation of Stress Fractures in German Elite Triathletes

Department of Sports Medicine at the University Center for Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
Department for Sports Science, German Triathlon Federation, 60528 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
Department of Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery, Klinikum Osnabrück, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany
Department of Medical Statistics and Biometry, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus at Technical University Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7FY, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sports 2019, 7(4), 88;
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
Triathlon is a popular sport for both recreational and competitive athletes. This study investigated the rates and patterns of stress fractures in the German national triathlon squad. We developed a web-based retrospective questionnaire containing questions about the frequency of stress fractures, anatomic localisation and associated risk factors. The survey was conducted as an explorative cross-sectional study. Eighty-six athletes completed the questionnaire. Twenty athletes (23%) sustained at least one stress fracture. All documented stress fractures were located in the lower extremities. Factors associated with a higher risk for stress fractures were female gender, competitive sport prior to triathlon career, Vitamin D or iron deficiency, menstrual disturbances and a high number of annual training hours. Disseminating knowledge among athletes and their professional community in order to raise awareness about early symptoms and relevant risk factors could help to improve prevention and reduce the incidence of stress fractures. View Full-Text
Keywords: triathlon; injury; stress fracture; risk factors; prevention triathlon; injury; stress fracture; risk factors; prevention
MDPI and ACS Style

Neidel, P.; Wolfram, P.; Hotfiel, T.; Engelhardt, M.; Koch, R.; Lee, G.; Zwingenberger, S. Cross-Sectional Investigation of Stress Fractures in German Elite Triathletes. Sports 2019, 7, 88.

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