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Sacral Stress Fracture

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Sacral Stress Fracture

(Sacral Stress)


A sacral stress fracture is a small break in the sacrum. This is a large triangular bone at base of the spine that connects to the pelvis.


Sacrumhttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=77377737si55550398_105433_1.jpgsi55550398NULLjpgSacrumNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\si55550398_105433_1.jpgNULL36NULL2008-12-15261400Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


A sacral stress fracture can be caused by repetitive stress or weakened bones.

Risk Factors

A sacral stress fracture is more common in young athletes and older women with osteoporosis. Other things that may raise the risk are:


The most common problem is low back pain. Other problems may be:

  • Pain in hip or pelvis
  • Pain in buttocks or groin
  • Lower back tenderness
  • Swelling at lower back
  • Pain during exercise


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.

Pictures may be taken. This can be done with:


It will take several weeks for most people to heal. The goal of treatment is to help the bones heal properly to prevent long term problems. This may include:


This problem cannot always be prevented. Starting a new sport slowly may help lower the risk of injury. Healthy bones and muscles may also help. This may be done through diet and exercise.





  • American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) Committee on Adolescent Health Care. Committee Opinion No.702: Female Athlete Triad. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Jun;129(6):e160-167.
  • Female athlete triad. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/female-athlete-triad.
  • Low back pain fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/patient-caregiver-education/fact-sheets/low-back-pain-fact-sheet.
  • Nose-Ogura S, Yoshino O, et al. Risk factors of stress fractures due to the female athlete triad: Differences in teens and twenties. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2019; 29: 1501– 1510.
  • Stress fractures. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/stress-fractures.


  • Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.