Fractured fibula: Commonly used treatment options

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A fractured fibula might be a trivial hairline crack or serious enough to disrupt with ability to walk and bear weight. The management for this type of fracture is based on its seriousness.

Treatment options for a fractured fibula

Adequate rest and immobilization

If an individual has a stress fracture of the fibula, it is managed with immobilization and rest. With this type of fractured fibula, it is caused by engaging in repetitive activities such as running. Generally, the base of the fibula is affected which is a large prominence on the exterior of the ankle.

The fracture can be placed under a splint or cast. Crutches are often utilized to lessen the pain while walking for 1-2 weeks until the individual can support the full weight of the leg.

Closed reduction

Generally, the base of the fibula is affected which is a large prominence on the exterior of the ankle.

Closed reduction involves the realignment of the end points of the fractured bone without surgery. In case the damaged points are near to their normal position, the doctor utilized his/her hands to realign the ends of the fibula to allow them to grow back together.

Internal fixation

A fractured fibula might necessitate surgical intervention especially in cases where the bony pieces drifted far from normal alignment or if the bone has fragmented into several pieces.

This procedure aims on realigning and mechanically stabilizing the severely fractured fibula. It is stabilized with a screw or a combination of screws and a plate. In some cases, K-wires are utilized to secure the fractured bones in place for stability and allow healing to occur.

How is a nonunion fracture treated?

In cases where the fractured fibula does not grow back together, it is known as nonunion. This typically affects the inferior end of the bone that has poor soft tissue cover and reduced blood supply.

Nonunion is managed in a conservative manner with magnetic devices and electrical stimulation or even surgery. The damaged bone might be removed or stabilized with the placement of a plate surgically. In addition, a bone graft might be needed to fill the gap where the bone has not recuperated.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a fractured fibula is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the indications of injury, register for a first aid and CPR course with Mississauga First Aid.

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