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by Woods M

Definition

The fibula is one of 2 bones of the lower leg. It is the smaller bone that runs along the outside of the leg. A fibula shaft fracture is a break in the long, narrow part of the fibula bone. An isolated fibula fracture is usually a minor injury, but the injury is more severe if the tibia is broken as well.

Leg Bones (male)
IMAGE
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Causes

A fibula shaft fracture can be caused by a direct blow to the bone or a twisting injury.

Risk Factors

Playing high impact sports, such as skiing or soccer, may increase your risk of a fibula shaft fracture.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Tenderness or pain in the lower leg, especially pain that worsens with movement
  • Inability to walk or bear weight
  • Deformity of the lower leg

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms, medical history, and activities at the time of the injury. A physical exam will be done. Your leg will be examined.

Images will be taken of your leg to look for the fracture and make sure the bone is still aligned. This can be done with x-rays.

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Most fibula shaft fractures will heal without surgery.

Initial Care

For an isolated fibula fracture, a splint or cast may be used to make sure the bone stays in the correct position while healing. Without this, the bone will heal, but it may not heal correctly. This might cause later problems with movement.

For an isolated fibula fracture, a splint or cast may be used to make sure the bone stays in the correct position while healing. Without this, the bone will heal, but it may not heal correctly. This might cause later problems with movement.

Surgery

Surgery may be needed with certain types of fractures, such as when the bone has moved out of place or if the tibia is involved as well.

Surgery may be needed with certain types of fractures, such as when the bone has moved out of place or if the tibia is involved as well.

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of getting a fibula shaft fracture, take these steps:

  • Wear proper padding and safety equipment for sports and activities.
  • Always wear a seatbelt when riding in a motor vehicle.
  • Avoid activities that may result in falling.

RESOURCES

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians  http://www.familydoctor.org 

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons  http://www.orthoinfo.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation   http://www.canorth.org 

Health Canada  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca 

References

Proximal fibular shaft fracture—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T903836/Proximal-fibular-shaft-fracture-emergency-management. Accessed February 13, 2017.

Tibial and fibular fractures (including horse rider’s knee). Patient UK website. Available at: http://patient.info/doctor/tibial-and-fibular-fractures-including-horse-riders-knee. Updated June 16, 2014. Accessed February 13, 2017.

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