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Front Physiol, 2022; 13(): 803219, PMID: 35222074

Tibial Bone Geometry Is Associated With Bone Stress Injury During Military Training in Men and Women.

Year: 2022

Koltun KJ, Sekel NM, Bird MB, Lovalekar M, Mi Q, Martin BJ, Nindl BC
Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, Warrior Human Performance Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.


Bone stress injuries (BSI) are a common musculoskeletal condition among exercising and military populations and present a major burden to military readiness. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether baseline measures of bone density, geometry, and strength, as assessed via peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), are predictive of tibial BSI during Marine Officer Candidates School training. Tibial pQCT scans were conducted prior to the start of physical training (n = 504; Male n = 382; Female n = 122) to measure volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), geometry, robustness, and estimates of bone strength. Bone parameters were assessed at three tibial sites including the distal metaphysis (4% of tibial length measured from the distal endplate), mid-diaphysis (38% of tibial length measured from the distal endplate), and proximal diaphysis (66% of tibial length measured from the distal endplate). Injury surveillance data was collected throughout training. Four percent (n = 21) of the sample were diagnosed with a BSI at any anatomical site during training, 10 injuries were of the tibia. Baseline bone parameters were then tested for associations with the development of a tibial BSI during training and it was determined that cortical bone measures at diaphyseal (38 and 66%) sites were significant predictors of a prospective tibial BSI. At the mid-diaphysis (38% site), in a simple model and after adjusting for sex, age, and body size, total area [Odds Ratio (OR): 0.987, 0.983], endosteal circumference (OR: 0.853, 0.857), periosteal circumference (OR: 0.863, 0.824), and estimated bending strength (SSI; OR: 0.998, 0.997) were significant predictors of a BSI during training, respectively, such that lower values were associated with an increased likelihood of injury. Similarly, at the proximal diaphysis (66% site), total area (OR: 0.989, 0.985), endosteal circumference (OR: 0.855, 0.854), periosteal circumference (OR: 0.867, 0.823), robustness (OR: 0.007, 0.003), and SSI (OR: 0.998, 0.998) were also significant predictors of BSI in the simple and adjusted models, respectively, such that lower values were associated with an increased likelihood of injury. Results from this investigation support that narrower bones, with reduced circumference, lower total area, and lower estimated strength are associated with increased risk for tibial BSI during military training.

GID: 5654; Last update: 07.03.2022