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October 23, 2021

What do you need to know about hairline fractures?

Hairline fracture or a stress fracture is a fracture caused by tiny cracks in the bones. This type of fracture is more common among individuals who engage in high physical activity sports. It can get worse if not checked and treated immediately.

What are hairline fractures and their causes?

Hairline fractures are minor cracks in the bone. Hairline fractures usually happen from engaging in intense physical activity and repeating movements that put a strain on some part of the bones, such as ankles or legs. Even though bones have little elasticity, too much or constant pressure on a bone without enough rest can lead to hairline fractures over time.

Some minor trauma can also cause hairline fractures on areas like the nose or arms. Usually, trauma often induces larger bone breakage or fractures. Individuals who are suffering from osteoporosis are at a higher risk of getting a hairline fracture.

What are the symptoms of a hairline fracture?

Detecting a hairline fracture isn’t very simple, as it does not start with searing pain, like a normal fracture. Due to its microscopic size, the pain in the area with a hairline fracture intensifies when you repeatedly put stress on the injured bone. Other symptoms of hairline fractures include:

  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

How to treat a Hairline Fracture?

If you feel unusual pain after an energetic workout or running, get in touch with an Orthopedic Surgeon in Doctors Hospital Lahore or your area. They’ll examine your symptoms and may suggest an MRI, Scan, or X-ray if they suspect an injury. If the injury is serious, you might have to go through orthopedic surgeries.

Treatment of such fractures is easy and less painful, but this doesn’t mean that you should ignore them. The key to recovery in such cases is rest. Most hairline fractures heal themselves over time. However, you must ensure that you don’t put pressure on the area till it properly heals itself. An Orthopedic Surgeon in Boulevard Hospital or the one treating you may prescribe painkillers to ease the pain. Rest is compulsory in any case, and your doctor will be able to tell you when you can start functioning again normally. In instances where the pain is very high, you may need to use crutches or a cast as well. 

Can you prevent a hairline fracture?

Completely preventing any illness or disease is nearly impossible. You can take a certain measure that can help you with reducing the risk of a hairline fracture significantly. Here are a few ways:

  • Gradual changes in exercise

A sudden hike in your physical activities makes you more susceptible to hairline fractures. Make gradual changes to the intensity and duration of your physical activity.


  • Eat a healthy diet

Add Vitamin D and calcium-rich foods to your diet to improve your bone health


  • Use proper equipment and shoes

Wear shoes that are not worn out and are the right fit for the kind of activity you’re doing such as, using running shoes for running. Use good-quality equipment for your workout.


  • Don’t exercise excessively!

Although exercise is great for your overall health nevertheless, don’t engage in long periods of intense exercise. Stop exercising when you feel pain in a specific area. Additionally, ask your doctor when you’re adding to your activity level.

 How long does it take to recover from a hairline fracture?

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Recovery depends on the severity of the fracture. In simple words, it’s better to wait until all the pain and swelling has gone. It approximately takes six to eight weeks but can vary. Consult your doctor before resuming your usual activities.

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