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Incidence of trauma related stress fractures and shin splints in male and female army recruits: retrospective case study

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 02 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:29
  1. M A Macleod, consultant in nuclear medicine (,
  2. A S Houston, consultant medical physicist,
  3. L Sanders, medical physics technician,
  4. C Anagnostopoulos, consultant in nuclear medicine.
  1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Royal Hospital Haslar, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 2AA
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Macleod
  • Accepted 3 September 1998

The Ministry of Defence's equal opportunities policy, which was introduced in 1993,means that female recruits to army training regiments have been exposed to the same rigorous, physically demanding exercise as men. We noticed a fourfold increase in referrals between 1994and 1996and decided to investigate whether this reflected increased referral of women.

Subjects, methods, and results

Although radiography is the main diagnostic tool for detecting bone trauma, radionuclide bone scanning is more effective at showing stress fractures, shin splints, and covert fractures. 1 2

We studied the bone scans of all recruits of an army training regiment who were referred with suspected trauma from 1April 1995to 31March 1997.During this time 4222recruits (3367men and 855women) carried out basic fitness training and were assessed at the regiment.

On referral each patient was assessed …

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