Talbot-Lau X-ray imaging (TLXI) provides information about scattering and refractive features of objects – in addition to the well-known conventional X-ray attenuation image. We investigated the potential of TLXI for the detection of hairline fractures in bones, which are often initially occult in conventional 2D X-ray images. For this purpose, hairline fractures were extrinsically provoked in a porcine trotter (post-mortem) and scanned with a TLXI system. In the examined case, hairline fractures caused dark-field and differential-phase signals, whereas they were not evident in the conventional X-ray image. These findings motivate a comprehensive and systematic investigation of the applicability of TLXI for diagnosing hairline fractures.