The two bones that connect the knee joint with the ankle joint are the two long bones known as the tibia and fibula. The tibia is the medial bone which transmits the majority of the force in the lower leg. The fibula is the lateral bone. The bones may fracture following a traumatic incident such as twisting an ankle during sport or they may develop a stress fracture through overuse training.
Causes: The most common cause of a tibia or fibula fracture is normally associated with a sudden direct or indirect force applied to the lower leg. Severe ligamentous ankle sprains may also involve a fracture of one or both bones. In severe cases, a fracture-dislocation may take place. Stress fractures may take place with overuse training and may be attributed to improper biomechanical loading of tissues in the lower limbs.
Symptoms & Diagnosis: Sudden pain, swelling and the inability to fully weight-bear on the affected leg are the initial symptoms that are normally associated with a lower leg fracture. Discolouration and numbness may signify a disruption of blood supply or nerve related injury. In severe cases, one or both of the broken bones may pierce the skin.
Management: Most fractures require a period of rest with the affected lower leg immobilised in a cast or another alternative support for a period of time. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be required to realign and fixate the broken bones. Physiotherapy is recommended at an early stage to regain full function and strength to allow an efficient return to normal leisure activities and sport.
Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.