Korean J Sports Med.  2017 Sep;35(2):121-124. 10.5763/kjsm.2017.35.2.121.

Bilateral First Rib Stress Fractures with Pseudoarthrosis in a Young Weightlifter: A Rare Cause of Shoulder Pain

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea. cyclopia@naver.com


Isolated stress fracture of the first rib is quite rare cause of uncertain shoulder pain in athletes. These fractures are stress induced and precipitated by repeated traction of muscles acting on the first rib. A prompt diagnosis can shorten the time required for healing and decrease the risk of associated complication as nonunion or pseudoarthrosis. The diagnosis can be made by taking a thorough history and performing chest X-ray, computed tomography, or bone scan. Early recognition and proper management generally lead to successful outcomes and return to normal activities. Typically, they heal with conservative treatment with rest and mild analgesia. This report describes stress fractures of bilateral first rib in a weightlifter, one of which developed into a pseudoarthrosis as a result of persistent overhead activities due to missed diagnosis.


Ribs; Stress fracture; Pseudoarthrosis; Weightlifter
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