A simplified model to predict stress fracture in young elite combat recruits

Daniel S. Moran, Aharon S. Finestone, Yael Arbel, Nogah Shabshin, Arie Laor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to develop a simple prediction model for stress fractures (SFs) in young male recruits to identify risk factors for SF. Data were collected from 57 young (18.5 ± 0.5 years) male athletes before elite combat basic training (BT). Measurements included anthropometric variables, blood samples, fitness tests, bone quality (peripheral quantitative computed tomography [pQCT]), psychological assessment, nutritional habits, and history of physical activity. A medical evaluation was done periodically. The SFs were clinically diagnosed during the 1-year training and thereafter confirmed by bone scintigraphy. Three "simple to monitor" variables were found to be significantly (p < 0.05) related to SF occurrence during basic and advanced training: aerobic training frequency, aerobic training duration, and waist circumference. From these 3 variables, a new model was constructed that successfully predicted 85% of the soldiers with (n = 23) and without (n = 34) SF as follows: PSF = 12.166 - 1.169ATn + 0.436ATt - 0.145Waist; where PSF is the stress fracture prediction according to the Log Odds (SF), Odds(SF) is the ratio between the probability of SF existence and nonexistence, ATn is the aerobic training (times per week), ATt is the aerobic training duration (minutes per week), and waist is the circumference (centimeters). This model was validated on a different database taken from another 59 elite combat recruits before BT and successfully predicted 76.5% of the soldiers with SF (n = 22) and without SF (n = 37). A young male recruit for elite combat unit is at a greater risk of developing SF if, before entering BT, he trained aerobically <2 times per week with each training >40 minutes and has a waist circumference of <75 cm. However, further evaluation is required for different combat recruits, ages, and training programs to validate these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2585-2592
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Bone
  • Imaging
  • Military
  • Risk factors
  • Stress reaction


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