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A stress fracture of the lower leg is a tiny hairline crack in the bone. It may happen in the tibia (shin bone), the larger bone of the lower leg. Or it may happen in the fibula, the smaller bone of the lower leg.
A lower leg hairline fracture often is caused by ongoing overuse, such as from regular long-distance running. Your doctor may have put your leg in a brace, splint, or cast to allow it to heal or to keep it stable until you see another doctor. It may take a few weeks to a few months to heal. It can be frustrating to slow down or stop your activities. But going back to exercise too soon can cause the injury to get worse and make healing take even longer.
You heal best when you take good care of yourself. Eat a variety of healthy foods, and don't smoke.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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