The fibula is a bone in the lower leg stretching from the knee to the ankle and is visible when looking at a leg. A Fibular Fracture is a break to your fibula caused by a forceful impact causing injury and a broken bone. It can also happen when there’s more pressure or stress on the bone than it can handle.
If your child needs surgery or casting, our Fracture Care Clinic opens every day and you do not need an appointment. Surgery rooms get scheduled every morning, so your child receives the care and attention they need right away.
The fibula helps in the support and stabilization of your leg, body, ankle, and leg muscles. The bigger bone that also makes up the shin, the tibia, travels parallel to it and connects the ankle and knee joints. Also, only 17% of the weight of the body is supported by the fibula. When the bone is subjected to a greater force than it can bear, a fibula fracture occurs. Fibula fractures are frequent injuries to the smaller of the two lower leg bones and can occur in combination with fractured ankles or tibia fractures. In addition, stress fractures are prevalent, especially among athletes, however, many fractured fibulas result from a hard collision.
What are the Different Types of Fibula Fractures?
Breaks and fractures both refer to the same ailment and fibula fractures can happen around the ankle, knee, and center of the leg. Additionally, there are several kinds of fractures, which may also have an impact on care and healing. These kinds consist of:
- An ankle break refers to a lateral malleolus fracture.
- Fracture of the fibular head, a break below the knee.
- A fracture known as an avulsion fracture occurs when a little piece of the bone breaks away.
- The stress fracture refers to a hairline fracture from recurrent trauma.
- A shaft fracture refers to a break that frequently occurs in the center of the leg as a result of direct contact.
Apart from stress fractures, these fractures are often the result of trauma or pressure on the bone that the bone cannot handle. For example, this can occur if your child rolls his or her ankle, receives a direct blow to the foot, falls, or suffers a sports-related injury.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What constitutes a fibula fracture in children, and how does it happen?
A fibula fracture in children refers to a break or crack in the fibula, which appears as one of the two bones in the lower leg (the other being the tibia). The fibula is the thinner bone and is identified on the outer side of the lower leg. Fractures can occur due to various reasons, including falls, sports injuries, twisting the leg, or direct trauma to the lower leg. The severity and type of fracture can vary, ranging from a minor hairline crack to a complete break.
How is a fibula fracture in a child diagnosed and treated?
Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, medical history, and imaging studies such as X-rays to evaluate the extent and location of the fracture. Treatment varies based on the severity and type of fracture. In less severe cases, a simple fracture will get better with rest, ice, elevation, and a splint or cast to immobilize the leg. More complex or displaced fractures may require realignment (reduction) of the bones and may necessitate surgical intervention, such as internal fixation with screws or plates to stabilize the fracture.
Rehabilitation and physical therapy are important aspects of treatment to aid in recovery, regain strength, and restore mobility. Follow-up appointments with the orthopedic surgeon are essential to monitor the healing process and adjust the treatment plan as needed.
What is the recovery time and prognosis for a child with a fibula fracture?
The recovery time for a fibula fracture in children varies based on the severity and type of fracture, as well as the chosen treatment approach. Generally, uncomplicated fractures may take several weeks to a few months to heal. Complete healing can take several months, and rehabilitation can continue even after the removal of the cast or splint.
The prognosis for children with a fibula fracture is typically good, especially when the fracture is promptly diagnosed and appropriate treatment is administered. Most children are able to resume their normal activities once the fracture becomes healed and they have completed rehabilitation. However, it’s important to follow the prescribed treatment plan, attend follow-up appointments, and adhere to any activity restrictions or rehabilitation exercises to ensure a successful recovery.
When children break bones, parents need to take them to the very best doctors. At the Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists, we are the best. We specialize in children and their bones.
Symptoms of a Fibula Fracture:
Some of the most prevalent warning signs and symptoms of a broken fibula are pain, edema, and discomfort. Other indications and symptoms are:
- Weight-bearing on the damaged leg is impossible
- A bruised and bleeding leg
- Visible deviation
- Cold and numbness in the foot
- To the touch delicate
Types of Treatment for a Fibula Fracture
Treatment is based on the kind, location, and severity of the fracture. Open (skin is broken) or closed fractures are common categories for fractures. Furthermore, our doctor will straighten the bones and then put your child’s leg in a cast or splint, whether closed or open. This keeps the fracture from moving, allowing it to heal. If deemed necessary, the doctor will prescribe crutches. Also, your child can learn to walk without bearing weight on the fractured leg with a physical therapist.
Closed fracture treatment
Depending on the severity, a closed fracture does not usually require surgery. Unless other portions of the leg are damaged, a splint or cast that restricts mobility will typically suffice.
If you do need further treatment to straighten your bones, your doctor could suggest a closed reduction This procedure is conducted when a doctor realigns the ends of a fractured bone without making a skin incision.
When a bone may have shattered in more than two locations, your doctor normally performs reduction surgery.
Nonunion occurs when the ends of a broken bone don’t mend together. Your doctor will often utilize bone grafting and electrical and magnetic stimulation devices in the absence of surgery.
Open Fracture Treatment
If your child has an open fracture, your child will need emergency medical help. While you are waiting for assistance, remember to rest, ice, compress, and elevate (RICE). Surgery is necessary for open fractures as serious secondary medical conditions exist, such as skin loss and artery damage. Your surgeon will concentrate on:
- Preventing contamination and infection by cleaning the wound.
- Preserving the bone’s position before surgery by stabilizing the wound.
- Imaging studies to determine the sort of operation required.
- Evaluating if using antibiotics to prevent infection is necessary.
Our surgeon may treat your fracture using internal or exterior techniques during surgery. Also, our doctor will insert metal implants to hold the fractured bone together while it heals if it requires an internal fixing. The metal screws or pins that hold the bones in place for severe open fractures often protrude outside the skin.
What is a Fibula Stress Fracture?
A fibula stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bone of the fibula. Numerous lower leg muscles link to the fibula bone. In comparison to the fibula, which has a large portion of its surface used for muscle attachment, the tibia is the bigger, heavier bone. Because of the traction and twisting pressures generated by the surrounding muscles, the fibula bone can develop a stress fracture.
Symptoms of a Fibula Stress Fracture
- The calf region is painful, and there is localized discomfort at a fibula point.
- Instead of an identifiable moment in time when the damage happened, the pain normally develops gradually over time.
- Although this is not as severe as a stress fracture of the tibia, discomfort will exist in the lower leg when bearing weight.
- After some time of rest, the discomfort could go away, but exercise makes it increasingly worse.
What Causes a Fibula Stress Fracture?
The main cause is an overuse injury. However, there are a few things that might make it more likely to sustain one:
- Because the peroneal muscles must exert more force for a longer period of time during toe-off in the running gait cycle, athletes who overpronate (roll their feet in) during running are more vulnerable.
- The ankle rolls inward as the arch of the foot flattens, twisting the lower leg and knee. The lower leg muscles, many of which link to the fibula bone, are under higher pressure because the bones in the foot cannot bear the strains as well as they should.
- Using orthotic inserts, which are worn in the patient’s shoes, can treat overpronation and other biomechanical foot dysfunctions. They regulate how the heel sits, enabling typical foot biomechanics.
Treatment for a Fibula Stress Fracture
For at least six weeks, or until the bone soreness has subsided, children should refrain from sports. Anything that exercises the calf muscles is not helpful in healing. Your doctor will do another X-ray after the recovery time, and it’s possible that this could reveal a stress fracture. New bone tissue has developed as a result. Children should replace running with swimming.
To safeguard the lower leg muscles, put on a heat retainer calf support. This lessens the strain on the fibula bone.
A comprehensive rehabilitation program should include lower leg stretches and strengthening exercises. By doing this, you can make sure that your child’s muscles are in good shape and are strong and flexible enough to handle the demands of your sport.
Overpronation is excessive rolling or flattening of the foot. This puts additional strain on the lower leg. Corrective shoe inserts can correct any biomechanical impairment.
Examine your child’s sports training methods to determine if overtraining, increasing the workload too quickly, or poor shoe choice are factors. Your child’s running shoes should last about 400 miles or 6 months. After that, the quality of the midsole is reduced. This results in less cushioning and support.
Upon the doctor’s approval, the lower leg muscles may get massage treatments from a qualified practitioner. This improves the muscles’ health and restores their flexibility and suppleness.
Fibula stress fracture exercises
Exercises that stretch as opposed to those that strengthen are more crucial for healing a stress fracture in the fibula. Since overuse is the main cause of the injury, it is not advisable to exercise your calf muscles, especially during the recovery period. The bigger gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle, which is situated deeper and lower down the leg, make up the calf muscles. Also, physical therapy technicians state that bending and straightening the knee to properly stretch leg muscles helps to get the leg back to functioning at 100%.\
Request An Appointment For Your Child’s Broken Leg
The Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists has been providing excellent broken arm fractures for many years. We focus on improving the long-term health of your child’s bones. If your child is in pain as a result of a broken leg, call one of our compassionate experts at 214-556-0590 to schedule an appointment with us. Finally, we offer personalized treatment and urgent pediatric care services at all of our four locations — Arlington, Dallas, Flower Mound, Frisco, and McKinney, TX. If you notice any symptoms of a broken arm in your child, don’t hesitate to contact us to avoid complications.
Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.
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