Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Erika Blanck


An important aspect of orthopedics and sports medicine is to provide quality care and oversight for the overall health and wellbeing of athletes. Research in these fields aims to understand the underlying mechanisms of sport-induced injuries in order to improve treatment plans and prevent future complications. Overuse bone stress injuries are prominent among elite athletes and can cause detrimental setbacks to training and performance. Thus, prevention of these injuries is of primary concern. Vitamin D has been known to play an integral role in skeletal metabolism. Current research suggests vitamin D status may be indicative of bone density, structural integrity, and overall bone health. Results from recent studies evaluating the correlation of vitamin D to stress fracture development are providing insight into this emerging topic. Measuring vitamin D status provides a quick and inexpensive way to evaluate bone health in athletes. In addition, vitamin D supplementation has been shown to substantially increase vitamin D levels. Implementing standardized supplemental treatment options for athletes with suboptimal vitamin D status can potentially reduce the risk of stress fracture formation, keeping athletes healthy and performing at maximum levels.