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Case report
Symptomatic stress reaction of the humerus in a professional cricketer
  1. Matthew Beech1,
  2. Navraj S Nagra2,
  3. Thamindu Wedatilake3 and
  4. Stefan Kluzek4
  1. 1 Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK
  3. 3 Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, UK
  4. 4 The Botnar Research Centre (NDORMS), Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Matthew Beech, matthew.beech{at}


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.

  • sports and exercise medicine
  • musculoskeletal and joint disorders
  • physiotherapy (sports medicine)
  • radiology

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  • Contributors MB is the first author of the report who compiled most of the literature review and coauthored most of the text. NSN contributed in the planning, literature review and critical revision of the article. TW is a clinician who treated the patient and compiled all the clinical information for the report. SK revised multiple drafts of the report and gave the final approval of the version to be published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.