Hairline Fracture Treatment in Pune
Fractures come in many sizes and forms. At what angle the bone is affected, the strength of the impact and the way in which the bone shatters, all determine the kind of fracture one has. Ranka Hospital, Pune deals with all kinds of fractures. In this article we take a closer look at Hairline Fractures.
Hairline fractures or stress fractures are small cracks in the bone. They could also occur when a bone is bruised. They are usually caused by repetitive actions where the bone doesn’t have enough time to heal. They differ from other fractures in that they develop over a period of time as opposed to being caused by an immediate blow.
The feet and legs are especially prone to developing hairline fractures as they constantly absorb a lot of impact. Athletes who do sports that involve running or jumping regularly are more at risk of developing hairline fractures. Women athletes who follow extreme diet and exercise routines may develop menstrual problems and premature osteoporosis, making them more prone to developing hairline fractures.
Hairline fractures though don’t just affect athletes. They could affect anyone. Often dancers, people with osteoporosis, older people whose bones have weakened over time, overweight people and those suffering from existing foot problems are at a greater risk of developing hairline fractures.
Hairline fractures can also occur when there is a sudden change in the way a physical activity is performed. For example if an athlete who usually runs on grass, suddenly begins running on concrete, s/he could develop a hairline fracture. Even a change in the intensity with which an activity is carried out can lead to a hairline fracture. For example if a person who usually walks two kilometers on average suddenly decides to run for those two kilometers, they may develop a hairline fracture.
Pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising are common symptoms of a hairline fracture. One may also notice that the pain is usually at its worst when the activity that caused the stress fracture is being carried out.
An orthopaedic specialist, such as those at Ranka Hospital, Pune can help diagnose your hairline fracture. The specialist will do a physical examination of your injury. S/he will apply a little pressure on the wounded area. Pain in response to pressure is a key factor in determining a hairline fracture. Usually diagnostic tools such as MRI or a bone scan will be used to confirm the extent of damage. These work better than an x-ray since hairline fractures often don’t show up immediately on an x-ray. Also the MRI is perhaps the most effective way of diagnosing a hairline fracture. Bone scans are usually only indicative.
To treat a hairline or stress fracture a doctor will usually recommend the use of crutches or a cast so as to keep the weight off the injured part of the body. Along with some medication for the pain and to prevent infection, this is a good non-surgical approach to treating a hairline fracture.
In some cases however, surgery may be recommended. Here the basic idea is to support the bone to help it heal. This is done by inserting screws or plates (usually in the foot) to keep the bones together.
First aid for a hairline fracture involves the RICE method i.e. – Rest, Ice, Compression and elevation.
Hairline fractures should not be ignored as they can eventually lead to the bone breaking completely. Hairline fractures usually take six to eight weeks to heal. A completely broken bone however will take much longer. Activity helps in recovery. Generally low-impact exercises such as swimming and cycling are suggested for hairline fracture sufferers.
For those who need to continue performing repetitive activities, hairline fractures can be difficult to avoid. But there are a few ways they can be avoided. Wearing proper footwear, gradually changing exercise patterns as opposed to doing it suddenly, wearing insoles, following proper techniques, using proper equipment, eating healthily with a focus on the amount of Vitamin D and calcium one is consuming and not ignoring niggling pains are all ways to avoid hairline fractures.
If you suspect you have a hairline fracture, visit Ranka Hospital, Pune. Our team of orthopaedic specialists will be able to accurately diagnose your fracture and help you en route to a speedy recovery.