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A symptomatic bone stress reaction is an early pathological feature, which can lead to stress fractures. It typically affects bones of the lower limbs in response to unaccustomed disproportional compressive loading. Professional sportspeople are susceptible to both bone stress reaction and stress fractures, where training regimes and competition predispose to overuse injuries. We discuss a unique case of a professional cricketer developing pain in the throwing arm due to bone stress reaction in the distal humerus, as confirmed on MRI. Modification of the patient's training regime, presented in this case, facilitated complete recovery within 6 weeks. The positive response to modified training suggests a biomechanical origin of the pain. This case illustrates that tensile stress associated with throwing activities can result in a symptomatic bone stress reaction of the humerus in elite cricketers.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Case Rep

Publication Date





musculoskeletal and joint disorders, physiotherapy (sports medicine), radiology, sports and exercise medicine, Athletic Injuries, Cricket Sport, Diagnosis, Differential, Female, Fractures, Stress, Humans, Humerus, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Young Adult