What Is a Hairline Hip Fracture?

A hairline hip fracture, also commonly called a stress fracture, is a crack in the femur or femoral neck that, if not treated properly, can get larger over time, according to Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Typically caused by repetitive stress on the bones, hairline hip fractures are most common among distance runners, military personal and the elderly.

Because a hairline hip fracture does not involve the entire bone and has symptoms similar to tendonitis and muscle strain, it is often difficult to diagnose, according to The University of Chicago Medicine. Symptoms of a hairline hip fracture include hip and groin pain when standing or walking, limping and an inability to carry on normal fitness activities due to pain in the hip.

As stated by Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, many people who suffer from hairline hip fractures also have muscle and tendon damage. Women develop stress fractures 10 times as often as men, and athletes that train in excess of six times per week are more likely to develop a hairline fracture after an increase in how often, how far or how long they train. In most cases nonsurgical treatment that includes resting and using crutches until the bone has healed is recommended, but in cases where there is a risk of the bone displacing, surgery is recommended.