Hairline Fracture in Arm: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Hairline fracture in arm

A hairline fracture, also known as a stress fracture, is a tiny crack in the bones of the arm. It is most common in people who are engaged in high-impact activities such as swimming, but it can occur to anyone. Initially, a hairline fracture may be hard to notice, but over time it starts causing a dull pain. If left untreated, this pain can get severe.


What causes a hairline fracture? 


Hairline Fracture In Arm

Mostly, hairline fractures are caused due to overuse or repetitive activity. Some of the most common causes of hairline fractures include:

  • Having an incorrect technique or using incorrect equipment while exercising or playing a sport
  • Sudden change in the frequency of activity
  • Vigorously changes the type of exercise


What are the symptoms of a hairline fracture? 


Symptoms of hairline fracture:


  • Swelling at the site of pain
  • Pain that worsens during activity
  • Pain that may not go away even after rest
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising


Risk factors for hairline fracture? 




With age, bones become weak due to degenerative wear and tear, and are at risk of getting a hairline fracture.




Hairline fractures are more common in women, especially the ones with irregular menstrual cycles.


Bone problems


Medical conditions such as Osteoporosis which weaken the bones and affect the bone density, increase the risk of developing a hairline fracture.


Previous hairline fractures 


If you had a previous hairline fracture in the past, the chances are high that you may suffer from it again.


Lack of nutrients


Lack of proper nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D reduces bone density and makes them susceptible to damage, thereby increasing the risk of hairline fractures.


How can hairline fracture be treated?


Home treatments


Follow the RICE method:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation


Medicinal treatments


NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin can help reduce the pain. In addition, doctors may also recommend wearing a cast.




Fracture Surgery


Open reduction surgery


Open reduction is the most common surgery to repair a hairline fracture. In this process, the surgeon brings together broken bony fragments and fixes them with various metallic devices like plates, nails, and screws.


External fixation surgery


External fixation surgery is performed when internal fixation surgery cannot be done because of extensive skin and muscle damage around the fracture. This surgery involves using external devices to hold bones together and reduce the pain caused by the hairline fracture.


Internal fixation surgery


Internal fixation surgery treats the hairline fracture by internally stabilizing the cracked bone. It fixes the bones with the use of metal plates and screws. 

Dr. Tushar Ubale is a renowned orthopedic surgeon in Orthocare, the best clinic in Mumbai, India. He has been treating fractures for over 14 years and specializes in spine and joint replacement surgeries. He takes pride in his expertise and has helped many patients to this date. So if you are looking for fracture surgery in Mumbai, you can book your appointment with us.

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