Tag Archives: stress fractures

Stress Fractures and Eating Disorders

Diagram of the Foot looking from above. It shows various types of fractures that involve the fifth metatarsal

I have just been diagnosed with my third fracture in 18 months. The last two occurred when I fell down the stairs and this one is a stress fracture presumably from work as I teach ballet six days a week. I have had other stress fractures before and also broke a bone that required surgery a few years ago. I am currently waiting on a referral to a knee surgeon as I also have cartilage damage in both knees.

There are many articles on ED and its effects on bone density and studies “showing that stress fractures were significantly associated with a more-restrictive diet”.*  There are also a lot of studies on dancers with ED and injuries: “It isn’t surprising that ballet dancers who have stress fractures also diet more and eat less”.**

I remember as a teenager with anorexia that my mother warned me about the toll it would take on me when I was older. Now at 30, I have soft bones. I will be in a walking cast for 4-6 weeks which is depressing to say the least. I will still be able to go to yoga as long as I modify the poses. None of this stopped me from bingeing or purging today. After all, the damage has already been done….why stop now?!

* Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 May;51(5):779-83.

Nutrition and the incidence of stress fractures in ballet dancers.


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, NY 10019.

**Brooks-Gunn, J, Dhuper, Saruta, Fox, Richard P, Frusztajer, Nina T and Warren, Michelle P.

1990 Nutrition and the incidence of stress fractures in ballet dancers. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 5: 51, 779-783.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, http://www.ajcn.org/content/51/5/779.full.pdf+html, accessed January 25, 2012.

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