Although they are relatively small in size, a hairline fracture can lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Moreover, without adequate treatment, these symptoms could linger or worsen. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at why hairline fractures develop and how your foot and ankle specialist can help you treat them.
Causes And Symptoms Of Foot Hairline Fractures
Hairline fractures, also sometimes referred to as stress fractures, involve the development of tiny cracks or bruises in the bone. The most common cause of a stress fracture is repetitive overuse without allowing the body to heal from the trauma. They are common in athletes who don’t take enough time off between athletic activities or runners who increase their distance or duration too quickly. Your body needs to be able to recover from the trauma of exercise, and if you continue to stress an area before it can heal, tiny hairline fractures can develop. Patients with any of the following issues may be at a heightened risk for hairline fracture development:
- Nutrient deficiency
Symptoms of a hairline fracture in your foot or ankle typically include localized pain and discomfort, bruising, swelling and tenderness to the touch. If you’re dealing with any of these symptoms, especially if you’ve recently put a lot of stress on your feet, connect with a foot specialist or make it a point to pursue some proactive treatment options so that symptoms don’t linger.
Treatment For Hairline Fractures
Your body typically does a great job fixing a hairline fracture on its own, but this does not mean that you should just go about business as usual. If you’re dealing with a hairline fracture, it’s imperative that you create an ideal environment for healing to take place. This typically involves:
- Rest/Activity Avoidance – Stay away from high-impact activities and exercise for a short while so that you can avoid stressing the area while healing is taking place.
- Stay Active – We know that we just told you to rest and avoid certain activities, and while that’s true, we don’t want you to just lay in bed for a week. Being active will help improve your circulation, which will bring oxygenated blood to the structures that need it most. Be upright and active, and even consider some no or low impact exercises, like swimming or cycling.
- Eat Right – Give your body a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals through your diet. These nutrients can make it easier for your body to heal your hairline fracture.
- Ice/Elevation//Medications – Any of these techniques can help to prevent and resolve problematic swelling and inflammation that can delay the healing process.
If you do all of these things and gradually work back into athletic or high-impact activities, we’re confident that you’ll be able to put a stress fracture behind you. For professional assistance, or for help with a different foot or ankle issue, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today at (860) 244-8889.