Definition

Tibia and fibula fractures are very common types of fracture. In our calf, we have two bones connected together: the tibia and the fibula. The tibia is the main bone that connects the femur (thigh bone) for major weight-bearing, and the fibula is an important (non-weight bearing) bone attached to the calf muscles. Different injury mechanisms contribute to different types of fractures. Moreover, the extent and speed of healing and the rehabilitation processes are different.
Self File | 脛骨及腓骨骨折Tibia and Fibula Fracture1e

 

 

Causes



Fractures occur when a direct external or repetitive force stresses the bone. There are open or closed fractures caused by a direct or indirect external force. An indirect external force may cause a fracture occurs in places far away from the external contact, that is, an external force breaks at a distance from the point of force through conduction or torsion force, and it is most commonly caused by falling from a height, sprains, or slips in running and jumping; fracture lines are often oblique or spiral. The other types of fractures include transverse, compression, stress and comminuted, etc.

 

 

Risk Factors

Contact sports such as rugby, basketball or football require a lot of lower limb turnings and direct insult, which may increase the risk of injury.

 

 

Common Symptoms
  • Severe palpable pain and aches
  • The affected area will be hot, swollen and red
  • The pain worsens when the lower leg is moving, and the pain is more pronounced when the fracture is unstable.

 

 

Management

Fractures can generally be divided into non-displaced fractures and displaced fractures.


1) Non-displaced fractures: The alignment of the bones and joints does not change a lot. For this type of fracture, few weeks of immobilization period is needed (depending on the type of fracture). Followed by stepwise physiotherapy, most of the functions could be fully restored. When the bones are in the healing stage, assistive protection devices and walking aids may be needed for walking.


2) Displaced fracture: It means that the position of the bone or joint has been displaced. It may need surgical intervention to restore the normal alignment and fix the position with nails or plates. Generally, this type of fracture is more serious and complicated, long recovery time is needed for post-surgical rehabilitation.

 

After the operation, severe pain around the knee and ankle is common, which is also often accompanied by swelling and stiffness. The range of movement will be greatly reduced. In addition, the atrophy of the thigh and calf muscles is rapid; the muscle strength and control weaken.

 

Physiotherapy aims to reduce pain, relieve edema and stiffness, strengthen the muscles, and restore joint mobility. In fact, physiotherapy can be started just a few days after surgery. In the acute stage, electrophysical therapy, acupuncture and cryotherapy can help to reduce pain and swelling. Physiotherapists will use different types of manual therapy to restore a better range of motion and joints alignment stepwise. In a later stage, gait training, knee and ankle strengthening, and sports conditioning training will be carried out according to stages of weight-bearing.

Self File | 脛骨及腓骨骨折Tibia and Fibula Fracture2

Self File | 脛骨及腓骨骨折Tibia and Fibula Fracture3

Self File | 脛骨及腓骨骨折Tibia and Fibula Fracture4

 

 

Preventive Measures

Sports taping, knee and ankle strengthening and agility training can improve knee and ankle stability and reduce injury rate.

 

 

 

 

 

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