How Long Does A Hairline Fracture Take to Heal?
A hairline fracture is a type of crack in the surface layer or outer shell of an object, such as a bone. Hairline fractures are usually very small and often go unnoticed.
However, they can be serious if not treated properly.
They are so-called because they can be described as thin lines or hairline cracks, although a fracture is typically not actually visible to the naked eye. A hairline fracture usually requires some kind of medical imaging technology to identify it.
A hairline fracture is also known as a stress fracture.
Causes of hairline fractures
The most common cause of a hairline fracture is simply everyday wear and tear. As we get older, our bones become more brittle, so they are easily damaged by everyday activities such as falling over or picking up something heavy.
There are a number of different medical conditions that can also cause hairline fractures. Conditions such as osteoporosis, for example, cause the bones to become thin and easily fractured.
Another cause of a hairline fracture is bone metastasis. This occurs when cancer has spread from the original tumor to other parts of the body, such as the bones.
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What happens if a hairline fracture is untreated?
If a bone fracture is untreated, either a non-union or a delayed union will occur. The bone doesn't recover in the latter situation, which means that it will stay damaged.
Swelling, tenderness, and discomfort will begin to escalate over time as a consequence.
Can a hairline fracture heal on its own?
A hairline fracture is generally not very serious and can be treated with rest. It will heal itself in a few weeks, provided it is left alone.
The majority of hairline fractures will heal by themselves if the person refrains from activities that strain the affected area.
It's generally recommended to have a hairline fracture treated because of the possible complications. It may heal perfectly fine if it is left alone; however, there are still risks involved.
What is the fastest way to heal a hairline fracture?
First, it's important to point out that hairline fractures are not typically healed without medical intervention.
Often, physicians will recommend the RICE method:
It usually takes up to six to eight weeks to completely heal from a stress fracture. During this time, it's suggested you modify your activities and reduce or completely eliminate high impact exercises.
Your doctor may recommend that you use crutches or a knee scooter to keep weight off an injured foot or leg. Your doctor may also recommend using a cast or boot.
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According to New Mexico Orthopedics, some hairline fractures may require surgery, where bones are supported by the addition of a type of fastener using pins or screws to hold bones together during the healing process.
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