Nonhealing, progressive stress fractures of the foot in a 13-year-old basketball player: Is vitamin K deficiency a risk factor?

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BAYRAMOĞLU M., Ünlütürk N.

Journal of Physical Therapy Science, vol.29, no.4, pp.763-766, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1589/jpts.29.763
  • Journal Name: Journal of Physical Therapy Science
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.763-766
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


© 2017 The Society of Physical Therapy Science.[Purpose] To report an adolescent male basketball player with nonhealing stress fractures of the foot and discuss the probable factors. [Subject and Methods] A 13-year-old basketball player presented with right foot pain. He had been playing basketball for three years and practicing 5 days/week. He denied any increase in daily training intensity. Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed stress fractures of the cuboid and cuneiform, with mild edema of the soft tissues between the tarsal bones and tenosynovitis of the flexor hallucis and flexor digitorum longi. The foot was immobilized for 4 weeks, with progressive weight bearing introduced at the fifth week. At the 6th week, while still restricted to partial weight bearing, he reported diffuse severe pain. The entire foot was painful with palpation, and new imaging showed stress fractures of the talus, cuboid, cuneiform, and proximal first metatarsal bones, and tenosynovitis of the flexor hallucis longus and flexor digitorum longus tendons with progression of the soft tissue edema around the tarsal bones. Acute phase reactants were elevated; vitamin K level was low. [Results] He started participating in games again at the 6th month post-injury. [Conclusion] Management of patients with stress fractures includes immobilization, physical therapy, and biomechanical arrangements. If the expected healing does not occur, a deficiency of vitamin K might be considered as a factor. Questioning on dietary habits of the patient and encouraging adequate intake of the deficient nutrient might assist in the healing process.