Structure of the break: As the name suggests, these fractures are tiny, hairline fractures that do not fracture through the entire width of the bone. The fractures are almost always at a right angle to the axis of the bone.
Diagnosis: X-rays are used to diagnose this type of fracture, although the history of the patient will give a strong clue that it is a hairline fracture.
Cause: Hairline fractures are often observed in athletes who have put continuous strain on the bone, causing it to crack (stress fracture). Hairline fractures can also be a result of impact injuries.
Treatment: These small fractures are often treated through the patient resting for a set period of time, according to how severe the fracture is. Applying ice packs to the area may also speed up healing.