A stress fracture is unlikely to show up on an X-ray until two or three weeks into the healing process, although a bone scan or MRI may give more information. Research shows that the biggest risk factor of a fibula fracture is low bone mass. Symptoms of fibular stress fracture may include: • Localized dull pain at/above the outer ankle bone - Initially pain is only present while exercising - Pain progresses to … After being in a cast or splint for several weeks, most people find that their leg is weak and their joints stiff. Incidence and risk factors. The calf muscles consist of the larger gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle which is located deeper and lower down the leg. However, there are a number of factors which can increase the likelihood of sustaining one. The fibular bone starts just below the knee joint on the outside of the leg and extends all the way down to the ankle joint. (Recovery: at least 6 Weeks), Bimalleolar ankle fracture: In this type of fibular fracture, the injury to the fibula is associated with a corresponding injury to the inner side of the ankle. That is usually the journal article where the information was first stated. After surgery, you’ll get a cast to promote healing. Crutches Don’t Have to Be…. It is important to assess these measurements: Physical therapy usually begins with ankle strengthening and mobility exercises. Non-surgical treatments may include the following: R.I.C.E. Fractures of the ankle joint: investigation and treatment options. Do you hate crutches? A fibula stress fracture is a small fracture or hairline crack in the bone. Click below and just hit send! The main symptom of a fibula bone stress fracture is pain around the area affected or general lower part of the leg. New advances in hands-free crutch technology, such as iWALK2.0 allow a person to be non-weight bearing with the use of their arms and hands. Many factors appear to contribute to the development of these fractures including changes in athletic training, specific anatomic features, decreased bone density, and diseases. In these situations, a brace is sufficient to support the ankle. Crutches are often used for a few days or weeks to allow swelling and pain to subside. Understanding risks and complications in the management of ankle fractures. What to know about fibula fractures Types of fibula fracture. After that, the quality of the midsole will begin to deteriorate so the level of cushioning and support may be reduced. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. Proximally, the fibular head is the site of attachment of the lateral collateral ligament of the knee and of the tendon from the biceps femoris. Harrast MA, Colonno D. Stress fractures in runners. The amount of time you will be non-weight bearing will depend on how quickly you gain stability in the injured leg and ankle (7). Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Fibula. Most patients will require some physical rehabilitation to make sure their leg regains full strength and flexibility. There are a number of different types of injury to the fibula bone: These are not the only types of injury that can occur to the fibula but account for the vast majority of injury to the fibula bone. Some people may choose to have surgical plates and screws removed after the fracture has healed. These injuries, often referred to as "tib-fib" fractures, typically require surgery to support the alignment of the leg. Osteoporos Int 2006; 17:143. Severe open fractures require external fixations, where the metal screws or pins project outside the skin to keep the bones in place. Disruption of the syndesmosis (syndesmotic or high ankle sprain) contributes to instability of the tibiotalar joint.[1]. Because of this, and the inherent forces placed on the bone by the muscles, stress fractures are common in the fibula. See a doctor if you have symptoms of a fracture, especially after a traumatic injury. The lateral malleolus provides key stability against excessive eversion of the ankle and foot. If the bones are not uniting, a bone graft may be necessary to promote healing. All rights reserved. They are generally caused by severe injuries from car crashes, sports injuries, or falls. Ask if they're truly the best option and confirm that alternatives would not be helpful. How a fibula fracture is treated depends on a number of factors, including where the fracture is located and if other injuries have occurred in association with the fracture. Type C: fracture above the joint level which tears the syndesmotic ligaments. To learn more about the iWALK2.0, click here. As the arch of the foot flattens the ankle rolls inwards, twisting the lower leg and knee. Hasselman CT, Vogt MT, Stone KL, et al. Everything You Need to Know About a Tibia Fracture, What You Should Know About Buckle Fractures, Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprain and Injury, pain that gets worse when putting pressure on the leg, tingling or numbness, which usually happens if there is a neurovascular injury, cleaning the wound to avoid contamination and infection, stabilizing the wound to keep bones in place before surgery, getting imaging tests to see what type of surgery is needed, determining whether antibiotics are needed to prevent infection, the severity of the injury and the presence of any other injury at the same time, how well you can follow your doctor’s orders, the amount of time spent on physical therapy, any underlying conditions that may affect healing. The scan can provide very valuable information about the severity of the injury and can also help determine if the ankle or knee joints are involved in the injury. Amaha K, Arimoto T, Saito M, Tasaki A, Tsuji S. Shorter recovery can be achieved from using walking boot after operative treatment of an ankle fracture. The severity of the injury will dictate the length of time to reach recovery. Here we explain the symptoms, causes, treatment, and rehabilitation of a stress fracture of the fibula. Severe injuries resulting from car crashes, sports injuries, or falls may lead to an injury of both the tibia and the fibula above the ankle joint. They may increase your risk for another fracture in the same area, especially if you’re an athlete. Factors that reduce bone mass had greater impact than overall health status or other risk factors for falling. Bone protruding through the skin or an obvious deformity (in severe fractures only) Symptoms consist of pain in the calf area with local tenderness at a point on the fibula. Unfortunately, a non-weight bearing recommendation can be very difficult to follow (9) and requires the use of a walking aid such as crutches, a forearm crutches, knee scooter or other crutch alternatives such as iWALK2.0.