Fibular fracture is a complete or incomplete break in the smaller of the two leg bones (outside bone), between the knee and ankle. Fractures of the fibula are not uncommon. Displacement is seldom severe. Fractures of the fibula sometimes occur with severe ankle sprains. It can happen anywhere along the fibula. The fibula only bears 17% of the body weight so these fractures are not as severe as weight bearing bone fractures.
Notify a physician if you have any of the following:
- Moderate to severe pain in the leg
- Tenderness and swelling in the leg or calf
- Bleeding and bruising in the leg
- Inability to bear weight on the injured extremity
- Visible deformity if the fracture is complete and the bone fragments separate enough to distort normal leg contours
- Numbness and coldness in the leg and foot beyond the fracture site if the blood supply is impaired
Initial treatment consists of elevation of the leg, and ice to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Treatment includes walking with crutches. A plastic stirrup-type brace, cast, or walking boot is often recommended. Surgery to place a rod, plate, or screws to fix the fracture is occasionally recommended. After immobilization (with or without surgery), stretching and strengthening of the injured and weakened joint and surrounding muscles (due to the injury and the immobilization) are necessary. These may be done with or without the assistance of a physical therapist or athletic trainer.
With all acute injuries, follow the RICE principle to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation.
R est- Walk with crutches if you cannot bear weight.
I ce- Use an ice pack for 20 minutes every two to three hours during the first 72 hours.
C ompression- Use an ace wrap on the leg. Start at the bottom of the toes and wrap up past the knee.
E levation- Keep the injured ankle above the level of your heart when sitting or lying down
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