In young people radiation exposure with x-rays should be avoided when possible. The current investigation of choice is an MRI scan.
It is present in between 3% and 6% of the population and often is found by chance and most commonly does not produce back pain.
Specialist X-rays will sometimes be needed to be more sure of the diagnosis. A CT scan is sometimes requested by a specialist to assess healing or the need for surgical treatment. Specialist scans such as SPECT scans are sometimes useful in the assessment.
Very few patients require surgery as the stress fracture so often heals on its own.
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