Are you feeling bone pain in your leg or foot whenever you put weight on it? A cause for this variety of pain is a stress fracture. A stress fracture is a tiny hairline crack in your bone. Hence, this version of a broken bone is sometimes referred to as a hairline fracture.
Hairline fractures are caused the stress of repetitive force applied to a weight-bearing bone, most commonly occurring in the lower leg and foot. Yet, this type of fracture may happen with normal use when a bone is weak.
Stress Fracture Symptoms
The primary symptom of a stress fracture is pain that intensifies with activity and decreases with rest. If not given an opportunity to heal, then hairline fracture pain becomes persistent even during respite. Tenderness at the site of the fracture is another symptom you’ll likely experience because of inflammation.
Participating in high-impact sports, such as running, basketball, tennis, gymnastics and aerobics, puts you at a greater risk for a stress fracture. Also, abruptly shifting from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one puts you in peril as well.
Another category of risk factors for hairline fractures are drugs, particularly if you are taking corticosteroids, loop diuretics, methotrexate or heparin. Some health conditions that can raise the possibility of you suffering this cause of painful symptoms are:
- renal failure
- liver disease
- cystic fibrosis
- Gaucher’s disease
- Cushing syndrome
- osteogenesis imperfecta
- abnormal menstruation, amenorrhea
Susceptibility to a stress fracture is greater during adolescence. And having flat feet or high arches increases the chances that fracture symptoms may arise.
Hairline Fracture Treatment
Treating a hairline fracture requires giving the fractured bone a rest from bearing your weight. Immobilization treatment via a splint or cast may be necessary to ensure a lighter load. And the use of OTC pain relieving drugs for symptoms should be limited to acetaminophen. Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen should not be used to treat your pain because they can interfere with bone healing.
Expect it to take about a month for your bone to fully heal, possibly longer.