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Hairline Fracture Or Stress Fracture: Symptoms Explained

Michelle March 6, 2018

A hairline fracture or stress fracture is somewhat different from usual break of bones. These are fine cracks in bones caused when the muscles are overly tired and incapable of absorbing any further shocks or impacts.  Hence the forces are moved to bones. Some external factors are also responsible for such fractures, which includes incorrect technique of gyms, wrong method of exercising, poor equipment for workouts. Also wearing of invariably worn out shoes.

Hairline fractures are most common aftereffects of the feet, legs and ankles whereby the bones are needed to support the weight of the body. Common in athletes participating in high impact sporting activities like running, cycling, gymnastics, etc causes the hairline fracture. It can also happen to a person leading a sober lifestyle but suddenly starts heavy workouts. Or to some teenagers whose bones are still fragile and in the process of growing and also to persons having weak bones.

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hairline fracture

Hairline Fracture: Symptoms

The core cause of stress hairline fracture is overuse or overexploitation of the bones. This ultimately lead to gradual pain that intensifies on carrying out activities. Activities such as weight bearing, jumping, running and ease with rests are common cause of hairline fracture. The symptoms include:

  • Numbness in the affected area
  • Swelling where the fracture has occured
  • Bruising over the place
  • Limited mobility of bone
  • Pain or tenderness felt

Initially, the symptoms of stress fractures are extremely mild. Light pain followed by swelling are the basic symptoms. The patients tend to ignore them at first. And with increased pressure, the stress ion bones becomes more fragile and lead to appearances of thin cracks. Hairline fracture consequently goes on widening, then it becomes noticeable enough with severe pain. Therefore, the severity of this pain is dependent on the amount of pressure asserted on the place of hairline fracture. More the force, more the pain.

hairline fracture explained

Hairline Fracture: Treatments

After the symptoms becomes transparent to the patients, the fracture is revealed, doctors announce easy remedies at first. Most common recommendation is discontinuation of the activities causing pain. And to rest because continuation of stressful activities may lead to total breaking. The first and foremost treatment for any kind of fracture is rest.

Secondly, Cold therapy is advised:

This is a process that implicates cold compresses and ice packs on the affected area. This helps to reduce swelling and pain.

Thirdly , anti-inflammatory medicines:

Aspirin and ibrufen are prescribed to take for the palliation of pain, although it does not aid in healing the fracture in bone.

Fourthly, ankle braces

Like air cast air-stirrup aids in healing stress fractures as well as prevent it from any further injury. A medical walking boot or cast is also recommended for some kinds of stress fractures. As bones normally take long periods of time to recover completely.

Grave stress fractures may need surgery. However, common stress fractures are not acute and recover on their own taking about 8 weeks with prolonged rest. Also opting to non-weight activities like swimming or biking. Still if the symptoms prevails consulting the doctor and going for the surgery becomes advisable to aid quick recovery.

Hairline Fracture: Prevention

Hairline or stress fractures are normally a result of constant or repeated strain on the bone thus periodic rests are necessary. These can be prevented by exercising using proper technique and training. Good foot wears ensures correct placing of feet. Avoiding sudden twists which may further lead to such fractures. Consuming a good diet rich in Vitamin D and Calcium prevents osteoporosis.


That’s all about hairline fractures that you need to know. If you’re having it or if the symptoms are matching go for a doctor’s help. You can comment below your views. Also you can let us know more about your problems and how you was able to cope with it. You should never avoid the symptoms that stated below. The early you go for medication, the quickly you get healed.

The guide completely deals with all the symptoms that you need to follow. Also you can go for some remedies by following the prevention section. All the therapy are listed there that you can follow. With a help of someone from your home you can perform all the medications listed there. To add more if you find any of the symptoms from above then don’t hesitate for the checkup, we care for your health. And you should care too for your health. You can check the images for further diagnose of your hairline fracture.


Hi! I’m Michelle, voice of Safest Symptoms, nutritionist, cookbook author, and passionate vegan food educator. This space is where I share nourishing plant-based recipes, stories of self-care and self-discovery, and resources to help you explore an informed and compassionate relationship with food.

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