Original Article


  • Selim AYHAN
  • Vugar Nabi NABİYEV
  • Mehmet YÖRÜBULUT
  • Selcuk PALAOGLU

Received Date: 09.06.2018 Accepted Date: 14.08.2018 J Turk Spinal Surg 2018;29(4):237-241

Background Data:

Having been regarded as a rare cause of low back pain, sacral stress fractures are overestimated because of the lack of specific symptoms. Furthermore, the level of awareness of this pathological condition is quite low amongst the physicians.


To present the incidence rate of sacral stress fractures by reviewing imaging modalities, and to compare the results of patient populations-at-risk in accordance with the current literature.


This retrospective study was held at a private tertiary care center between April 2013 and December 2017. With the exception of high energy trauma patients, all individuals who had lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and those who further evaluated with a pelvic MRI scan consisted the study group. The patients’ demographics and the radiological features were evaluated and reviewed by using electronic patient records and hospital-based picture archiving and communication system. The frequencies were calculated and compared with the data obtained from the literature.


A total of 1321 individuals (female: 659, male: 662) had a lumbar MRI scan during the study period and 485 of them (female: 238, male: 247) were further analysed with a pelvic MRI scan for differential diagnosis. Fourteen of these patients were diagnosed as sacral stress fracture. The calculated frequencies within a 57 months period for females, males and the whole study population were 1.67 %, 0.45 % and 1.06 %, respectively.


This study has reviewed the MRI studies and found out the incidence rates for sacral stress fractures. These results suggest that physicians should be aware of sacral stress fractures in the setting of clinical suspicion, especially in the certain patient populations.

Keywords: fatigue fracture; insufficiency fracture; sacrum; stress fracture