Tibia Ankle Fracture

Tibial Plateau Fractures
The tibial plateau is the flat, expanded top of the shin bone or tibia which makes up the lower half of the knee joint. It is a very important part of the body for load bearing and any disruption of this area can cause abnormalities in alignment of the knee, knee stability and movement especially weight bearing and walking. Early recognition and treatment of this injury is vital to avoid the potential disability which could ensue and the longer term consequences of knee arthritis. More than half the sufferers from this fracture are over fifty years of age.

Older women make up a significant proportion of patients with this fracture, related to the degree of osteoporosis present in this group. More energetic injuries present with this fracture in younger people. When this fracture occurs, the usual method is for a downward force to be acting on the knee joint when it is suddenly pushed into a knock knee posture. Most commonly the outer condyle of the femur crushes down on the tibial condyle below it and presses the bone downwards into a fracture. Motor vehicles injuries are a common reason for this presentation, with falls from a height and sporting injuries also figuring.

Around 25% of this kind of injury is secondary to a person being hit by a slow speed car at roughly the height of the knee joint, the bumper being the primary contact point. Falling from a height or sporting activities including horse riding can also result in this fracture. A fracture may result from a low energy event or a high energy event, depression fractures being more common from lower energy contacts and splitting fractures more common in higher energy involvement. This type of fracture can present in many complex ways and Schatzker and co workers have proposed a classification into six subtypes which is widely used.
Patient assessment does not concentrate solely on the state of the bony structures but includes the soft tissues in the local area including nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Cruciate ligament and cartilage (meniscal) injuries accompany around half of the number of tibial plateau fractures and these may require separate surgical intervention. The medial collateral ligament, on the inside of the knee joint, is more at risk from the injuring forces as they often hit the knee laterally and force it into a knock knee position. More severe events can fracture the medial plateau and this is accompanied by higher rates of soft tissue damage.

It may be appropriate to accept a number of fracture displacement types for non-operative or conservative treatment but if the fracture depression is over 5 millimetres it may be decided to raise up the depressed surface and place a bone graft under it. If the fracture is an open one (with an open wound) then surgery will be required, as it will in cases of damage to the vascular system and in the case of the development of compartment syndrome. If the fracture is not severe then it should be treated conservatively and operation may be avoided, at least temporarily, in cases where extensive soft tissue damage threatens tissue integrity.

Once the diagnosis has been established treatment can be started and this can include treatments to reduce inflammation and swelling such as rest, immobilisation, local compression and elevation of the leg. Cutting away any dead or dying tissues, a procedure known as debridement, is very important to maintain the health of the remaining viable tissues. If there is any sign of inappropriately high pressure developing in part of the leg, known as compartment syndrome, the treatment is immediate fasciotomy by opening of the tissue compartments.

Tibial plateau fractures have as a treatment strategy to restore alignment of the knee joint, re-establish full range of movement, and ensure stability of the knee and anatomical alignment. Overall the knee should be painless, movable and free from arthritis. Strong immobilisation of the fracture by surgery is necessary in unstable joints, with the denser bone of younger people allowing this. Functional bracing and total knee replacement may be necessary in older patients who have reduced bone density.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    How many days an orthopedic have to wait to performe surgery on a tibia fibula fracture and ankle fracture?
    I had a motor vehicle accident where i had my left tibia and ankle fracture. They kept me in bed for 3 days before surgery was performed, a day before the surgery thats when the vascular doctor came to see me for the first time, dont know why but since i got there they kept postponing the surgery. I feel like surgery was to be done same day of the accident, now it has been 21 days after surgery and im going to
    have to get a skin graft and maybe vac on the upper part of my foot due to skin not healing. Can that be cause for them waiting too long to attach skin?

    • ANSWER:
      This is something only your doctor knows. Be persistent in having them tell you why your surgery was postponed, it’s your right as a patient.

  2. QUESTION:
    non union fracture tibia bone at ankle.?
    33 yrs. ago I fractured my ankle tibia bone. It healed non union. My ankle has been swollen since. Now the range of motion is very limited and can not walk/run with out pain. Is this common? Would it be grounds for a disability (happened on the job)?

    • ANSWER:
      I’m having a little problem understanding your question.

      A non-union is where the break doesn’t heal. In other words the bones didn’t unite.

      Did you have a mal-union, where the bones healed improperly? If so, the Dr’s can perform an osteotomy (surgical break) and realign it correctly

  3. QUESTION:
    I have a spiral fracture of the tibia, but why does my ankle hurt?
    I’m not sure where the break was, no one showed me an X-ray. The doctor said two months in a knee-high cast and i should be fine. I took the cast off, and i’m feeling pain in my ankle when i move it certain ways. Is it normal, just needing therapy or do I have a problem?

    • ANSWER:
      It would seem to me that your ankle pain is normal. After two months in a cast, with limited range of motion for your ankle, the joint and ligaments and tendons that support it are stiff. If you are not scheduled for physical therapy, I would check with your orthopedist about the best at-home therapy for you. Best wishes. :0)

  4. QUESTION:
    spiral fracture tibia very low on ankle. does not hurt.why must I not weight bare and why is cast so loose .?
    almost no pain. no swelling now. cast so loose could twist ankle in it. am told if I weight bare will never be able to walk again. why?? I walked and drove for 24hrs before it was diagnosed. It hurts ankle to walk on knees yet am told that this is ‘safe’ please explain.
    sorry bearing not baring. agree must learn to spell.
    can’t ask dr ‘cos he is at the hospital and had no time to talk. he was a do as I say and move along the convayer belt type.

    • ANSWER:
      A spiral fracture (a.k.a. torsion fracture) is a bone fracture occurring when torque is applied along the axis of a bone. While torsional forces are being applied along the parallel axis of a bone, planes perpendicular to this axis are not affected. Tension is exerted upon one part of the bone, while compressive forces are exerted upon the other.
      Chinese Burn is the force that causes spiral fracture, a twisting. However downward force as in walking, weight baring will help to heal this fracture.

  5. QUESTION:
    will suffering a distal tibia fracture put my football season in jeopardy?
    last Sunday i was camping in the woods and fell and hurt my ankle,i went to the hospital and they said that i had a distal tibia fracture. Will this put my football season in jeopardy?

    • ANSWER:
      At my school, I know football starts mid-August. If this is the same for your school, I do not think you will be ready. With fractures, immobilization and crutches are usually need for at least 6 weeks. If the fracture is displaced or unstable, surgery may be required but you probably would have already been told you needed it if you did. So, treatment will include rest, ice, a cast, crutches, and probably some physical therapy to regain stability of the joint, reverse muscle atrophy, and regain motion. So, although you may not be ready at the beginning of the season, you will probably be able to return at some point and play in some games.

      However, it all depends on the severity of your ankle fracture, your doctor’s protocol, and how you heal. You need to be evaluated and treated and followed-up by an orthopedist.

      Good Luck :)

  6. QUESTION:
    Post ANKLE fracture.WHAT EXERCISES should I do to help rehab?
    I had a tibia end small fracture 4 weeks ago. Incidentally I got a dvt of the same leg and now I am on heparin. The plaster was removed 3 days ago and I wonder what kind of exercises should I do to help the rehab of the ankle

    • ANSWER:
      Were you not put in touch with a physio when cast was removed? Writing the alphabet with the affected foot in warm water (bath is a good place) stops the ligamens and tendons from seizing up.

  7. QUESTION:
    Has anyone had an fractured tibia resulting in joint trouble in the ankle?
    Has anyone had an injury similar to this??

    Any suggestions for treatment, supplements exercises etc??

    I would be very interested to hear from someone who has a similar injury and hear about their symptoms and recovery. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi

      Try this website. It’s for people with broken legs. There’s lots of tibia breaks on there. Someone (or lots) of people will answer your question.

      mybrokenleg.com

  8. QUESTION:
    i got tibia mid shaft fracture in my right leg now after two weeks of operation my ankle is stiff and swollen?
    i got a rod inserted and two screws below knee now what to do to cure my swollen and stiff ankle please help

    • ANSWER:
      Vijay, you are going to have to place your leg in a position where it is higher than the level of your heart. This will cause the fluid to drain. When you are able to use the calf muscles the fluid will start to be drained out of the area. The stiffness will also start to leave as you work the ankle and calf.

  9. QUESTION:
    Third degree ankle sprain with tibia bruise?
    I rolled my ankle playing racquet ball 4 weeks ago – level 3 sprain with tibia bruise (micro fracture). Am rehabbing for a surf trip in 1 month – still in mild/moderate pain with some swelling and decreased range of movement. Walking with a limp and not able to run/jog. Will begin swimming next week. Anyone have any experience recovering from such an injury? Anyone surf with an ankle brace under a bootie?

    • ANSWER:
      I’ve had a 4th degree ankle sprain, which took over 6 months to heal (dr. mis-diagnosed at first, second opinion said I should’ve been in a cast but was too late). Make sure you rest & elevate your foot whenever you feel you need it. They sell splints & supports at walmart, walgreens, etc., although I’m not sure you’ll be able to surf with one on (lack of mobility). Good luck, happy healing!

  10. QUESTION:
    how long should you keep a cast on your ankle when you fractured you tibia?

    • ANSWER:
      I would say 6 Weeks at the max, however this depends on the circumstances. It would be best to ask a doctor on this one.

  11. QUESTION:
    Experience with Tibia fracture?
    Hi everyone,
    I’m 26 yrs old, fractured my tibia 2 months ago (oblique, closed, resembling hairline fracture, no displacement or ankle diastasis). The tibia appears normal in the x-ray, but there is a line with a slight curve from the ankle half way up the tibia.
    I fell 3-4 metres onto concrete, landing straight and flat footed, but the impact still caused a fracture. I didn’t require surgery.

    There is allot of info on the web that states 6-8 weeks to ‘heal’, this can mislead you into thinking you’ll come out of the cast within that period and be walking shortly afterwards (just as soon as you gain your strength back). Did anyone else have this impression?

    I was shocked to find (after hitting the 8 week mark and having the cast off) to be put in a slightly higher one (just below knee) for another 4 weeks, then the plan is to go in one of those removable leg supports for 2 or so weeks.

    • ANSWER:
      Ouch! How did you manage to fall from that hight?

      I spent 3 months on crutches after breaking my tibia and fibula, and I too was told 6 weeks, had the plaster taken off at 6 weeks, and sent for an x-ray and sent back to casualty and was told that I should have had pins inserted, when I first broke it, but as the breaks had started to heal, but not fully knitted, I would need another 4 weeks in plaster, I could not wait for the blasted plaster to be removed, boy was I in for a shock, I had to have it reapplied for another 2-3 weeks, and if it had not healed then, I would need surgery.

      Needless to say I was furious, and I still have problems, with pain and walking long distances, I had to have orthotics specially made, to help with the pain, and this is after 8 years later. The only consolation was that after 3rd application of the plaster, I did not need surgery, but I still needed crutches for about 3 weeks, as I had a lot of atrophy (muscle wastage), from lack of use.

      I hope the outcome for your leg is good, and that you don’t have any long lasting pain.

  12. QUESTION:
    Acute ankle fracture.?
    I was just wondering and all, how long would it take for an acute ankle fracture, on the tibia, to heal. Would I able to walk when it gets healed, without rehab. And how long does rehab take?
    On the x-ray, it looks like the bone is fractured all the way through, but everything is still in place.

    • ANSWER:
      Depending how bad the fracture is, it will take weeks. If you are young you should not need rehab, but remember, the leg will be weakened from lack of use.

  13. QUESTION:
    August of 2005 I fractured my left ankle and tibia and dislocated ankle. All from a bicycle accident.What2do?
    I have 6screws and a plate to hold them together… It happened so long ago. But it hurts all the time especially after activites.. Should i get them removed. Or is it too late?? I want to get them removed but what about the long run… HOw long will it take to heal?

    • ANSWER:
      Talk to a orthopedic doctor and see what he says. I thought they had to stay in forever, but health care has been changing. They might be able to do something else now days. It should not be hurting all the time.

  14. QUESTION:
    Serious ankle fracture from almost 2 years ago still bothering me.?
    I broke my ankle on January 2009 by jumping a 12 ft fence,i landed on one leg because i jumped from an odd position.I landed on wet ground and completely fractured my right ankle’s tibia,fibula and damaged 20% of my inner joint that will never heal.I had surgery 10days later where the doc repaired my broken ankle with one plate and 6 screws.A year later after therapy and all that good stuff i still feel constant pain and I had a 2nd surgery where the same doc took the hardware out and he shaved all the outer and inner cartilage completely, for a new one to grow back soft and normal.That surgery was in April of this year.Today i still feel pain when i walk and the 2nd doctor i went to recently said that my ankle is healed just fine but the way I step with my right foot make it hurt.I feel this pain on the outside of my ankle and it goes around the ankle joint it feels like.Doc gave me these inserts to wear in my shoes and to never be barefoot in order for me to walk straight again.I’m sorry for making this long but iv tried a lot and no huge gains.Iv also been taking omega 3 fish oil,glutamine and chondroidin and a daily vitamin.

    • ANSWER:
      My Grama had the same bones broken(Not from jumping over a fence. Lol), in December 2008 and had a fusion in her left ankle. She too still feels pain but nobody seems too concerned as it is fully healed. You may just always have the pain. Hopefully not! Good luck. :)

  15. QUESTION:
    Saw a Physician Assistant…said ankle fracture and torn ligament, but I have no pain?
    Is this really normal? Every single thing I’ve read online has stated that I should be feeling a ton of pain and be very unstable. I’m going to see an actual ankle specialist on Tuesday but this guy sounded really grimm about my ankle. He told me I had some torn ligaments and a fracture on the back of my tibia. Right after I twisted in (about 7 days ago) it did hurt and swelled up a lot, then it DID bruise a ton…But now the swelling has gone down a lot. Even right after I did it I could walk on it. Now, I can walk on it fine with no limp or crutches or braces. This completely goes against everything I’ve read, like I said, about what he said. I would think I should be feeling SOME hurting, but it’s more of an irritation. It honestly doesn’t hurt much at all. I could see if I NEEDED crutches or something but as of right now I can stand on one foot with nothing else holding me up. What gives? He told me he thinks I was going to need surgery and definitely a cast…I’m a bit skeptical.

    • ANSWER:
      your lucky

  16. QUESTION:
    Have I broken/fractured my ankle? (distal tibia)?
    I am thirteen and just got back from camping. While at the lake, I found a rock with some fossils in it. I tucked it away in my bag and brought it home. I was examining it today, and it slipped out of my fingers. I was sitting semi-crosslegged so it fell right on the inside bony part of my right ankle. It hurts still, I can walk but it hurts a bit. It hurts to move my foot out and it is extremely sensitive to the touch. it has swelled considerably. the injury was at about eleven o’clock am. Is this normal? Should I go to the doctor? If it is broken, how long will I be on crutches.

    • ANSWER:

  17. QUESTION:
    tibia fracture !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
    i had met with an accident in may 09.i had open complete tibia fracture.had to undergo a surgery and metal rod is being inserted in my leg.now bones are healed.but there is lot of stiffness in my ankle.now i am walking with one stick.i cant walk without a stick.please help me regarding this.how should i walk properly.

    • ANSWER:
      hi good morning…u need to meet a physiotherapist for gait training n need to do strenghtening exercies for knee n ankle muscle….n its a very long time 4 t fracture to heal.n were u taking physiotherapy after orif ok.tc n meet t physio as early as possible b4 u go into wrong pattern of walkin.n if ny queries do let me knw at deeps.love@yahoo.co.in ……..tc

  18. QUESTION:
    Malleolus and tibia fracture….pain with healing!?
    I fell down stairs 5 weeks ago and the result was a malleolus fracture and tibia fracture. I was non weightbearing for 4 weeks with a cast. I now have a fracture boot on. I continue to have pitting edema around my ankle with severe achilles tendon pain as well as some sharp shin pain when I walk. How long does this take to heal and could I possibly have another break? I am not sure what to do…I have never had a broken bone and it seems it has almost gotten more painful after taking the cast off. I am worried about potential bone deformity being that I still can not bend my foot down at all! Really stinks. Thanks Tonja

    • ANSWER:
      it is usually a bad idea to put any weight on it even if the doctor says too. most say to too soon. feet take a very long time to heal. movement and physical therapy are important as you start to add weight back.

      heat and ice back n forth and avoid smoke and dark greens (like spinach) as they demote healing. good luck

  19. QUESTION:
    what is the average healing time for a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula?
    i had a rod inserted in my leg from knee to ankle within a couple of days of the accident. was told i didnt need a cast as rod was like an internal cast. was ran over by a forklift at work. spent three days in hospital and am now home recoverying. i was just wondering at what point should i start physical thearapy and get to start walking. it is now going on just over 30 days since the accident. anyone else with the same type of break.???

    • ANSWER:
      not sure but just be glad you didn’t break the femur that bone takes like 6months or more.

  20. QUESTION:
    Tibia Fracture…Help understanding Doctors Report?
    My 14 year old son fractured his Tibia while skateboarding when we were on vacation 3 days ago. He was put in a temporary cast and told to follow up with an Orthopedic Surgeon within 5 days. This is the report we were given to take to the Surgeon…There is an obliquely oriented fracture through the tibial metaphysis that extends into the physis. A suspected component is seen extending into the anteromedial aspect of the epiphysis as there is a subtle lucency running into this plane. There is an ankle joint effusion.

    Can someone better explain this to me in non doctors langue!!
    Does anyone know if this type of fracture would require surgery?

    Thank You!

    • ANSWER:

  21. QUESTION:
    Went to doctor too late, ankle fracture potential, I have a few questions!?
    About 2 months ago I fractured my ankle, I guess not too bad on the bones but I have nerve damage and constant pain. The pain has reduced a bit but seems to be level now. 1-10 scale about a 1 during day 2 at night at times.

    I did not go to the doctor until 4 days ago. She said it definitely sounds like a fracture but your body has definitely healed although almost guaranteed improperly.

    They took XRays and blood test to ensure there was no internal infections and the Xray analysis has not come back yet.

    My question to community:

    1.) Did I make a mistake not getting it fixed when the injury first happened?

    2.) What are the chances of injury now that my ankle may be weakened permanently? I am extremely active and I still choose to run on my ankle as we speak. I went on a 4 mile run the other day with 800mg of Ibuprofen and the last mile was pretty hurtful i’d say a 4-5 out of 10.

    The pain is right on the inside bone right in the rounded part, I think that is the Tibia. Am I just destroying my foot more by running on it? It feels like its stable, but then again maybe its just temporary until it breaks again. I don’t know! Or am I just being a little crybaby over it? If it breaks again but worse could I just be setting myself up for permanent disability and not able to live my lifestyle. I cant stand sitting at home getting fat by the minute waiting on my Doctor to get back to me.
    Do you think now they are gonna want to do surgery being that 3 of my toes wont move when I try and I am still having pain deep in the core of my ankle?

    • ANSWER:
      1) This is hindsite, but maybe will help in future situations. Yes, of course you should have seen a doctor immediately. When the pain didn’t go away after say a week of staying off, icing, and so forth you go to the doctor with injury. Because just as the doctor said,.. the body heals — when something is structurally off it will heal back in a different way than it was ‘built’. I’m sure that makes sense to you. Many times this creates a long term effect of chronic pain, weakened joint,.. future injury and so forth.

      2) The chances are high your ankle is pemanently altered. Permanently injured — I wouldn’t call it that, because the body will heal given the chance. Though it could be in a such a state that full healing isn’t capable. The best example of this would be a muscle imbalance and joint problem in the back. The individual hurts it in some manner,.. doesn’t get it adjusted back properly.. or doesn’t allow to heal properly. The muscles slowly compensate for the joint shift.. (usually one side tensing up , etc) — The joint permanently stays out of its EXACT original position because of the pressure of the muscles trying to provide temporary stability to the area. (But instead keeping it from healing).

      This same type of scenario can happen in your ankle.. the pain is likely due to some subtle internal swelling that occurs as the foot is trying to heal.. I’m not sure if I buy the nerve damage. Sure it is possible, but nerve damage is nearly impossible to confirm or dismiss so it is an easy term to through out there.

      You are not being a crybaby over it. If it hurts, it hurts — and the ankle is quite an important joint — you really mess it up you can’t walk without pain, much less run. Then surgery is usually indicated sometimes to rebreak the bone and the put it back together in the way it was designed..

      Though it doesn’t sound like your break was a compound fracture,.. the way you describe it doesn’t sound like your bones shifted that much… it sounds more like either some hairline fractures on the bone and/or some internal tissue damage.

      I would be more apt to think some of the soft tissue ‘tendons, ligaments, and so forth’ were the major player here than the bone itself. If the initial injury was substantial, then the bones could be out of alignment, but your X-ray will confirm or deny this.

      If the bones are obviously out of alignment, you should see an orthopedic specialist and/or podiatrist for recommendation. Not your GP. Your GP is great for general practice, but not healing such advanced injury that is beyond his or her expertise.

      You need someone who specializes in the area you have injured (IF the xray confirms.. and even if it doesn’t it wouldn’t hurt to get an MRI to check the soft tissue).

      This might sound like alot of hassle,.. but this could easily turn into a chronic pain problem.. as it seems already — and just get worse. Yes, setting yourself up to not be able to run in the future because of the pain.

      Really, I have to be honest with you. You shouldn’t be running on it as it is. Every step you take while running is putting hundreds and hundreds of pounds of pressure on an unknown entity. At least get some confirmation before you keep running. I know it is hard, but think of the future is a short while of rest worth a lifetime of activity?

      If you don’t get a solution from this doctor.. DO see a specialist — even if you need some minor surgery to shift some things around to allow it to heal properly.

      Good luck,

  22. QUESTION:
    Anyone else told to weight bear 2 days after surgery for tibia fibula fracture?
    Moto accident 3 mos.ago.Surgery with rod in tibia, screws at knee & ankle.Fibula fx left alone. Doc had me wt. bear as tolerated just 2 days after surgery! Given a walker to use in rehab. After 10-14 days, lots of popping started. At my first follow up, I was changed to non wt. bear for 6 weeks and given crutches. After 6 weeks, told by different doc to fully wt bear, swim, bike and walk as much as possible. Yeah! No more “boot”, crutches and hopping on one leg! At that point,I was happy just to be limping and swelling up. 4 weeks later, I am popping again with shooting pain in my ankle, sore calf. Went to a recommended chiropractor who feels my fibula is not healing properly (non union and misaligned) due to premature wt bearing. He now advised me to non wt bear and use crutches… again! I’m confused, worried and frustrated.Don’t want a permanent limp & popping,etc. In 2 days, going back to the doc who put me full wt. bear 1 mo.ago. HELP! I don’t trust any of these docs anymore

    • ANSWER:
      No offense but the chiro doesn’t really know what he/she is talking about with this particular injury. The fibula is a mostly non-weight bearing bone and weight bearing should have NO effect on the healing. What would have an effect on the healing would be not having your ankle immobilized to allow the fibula to heal. If the fib is not aligned properly then its not gonna heal. The reason you were told to weight bear 2 days after was b/c the rod in the tibia stabilizes the weight bearing bone and the weight bearing would stimulate bone growth. Hopefully you were given a boot to wear at that point to immobilize the ankle. I think you should go back to the surgeon who did the initial surgery to take an x-ray taken and looked at by him/her to see where your healing stands and find out what the best course of action is. It sounds to me from a distance that the fibula needs to be aligned and then the ankle has to be immobilized (with the walking boot) to allow it to heal, all the while you can be full weight-bearing.

  23. QUESTION:
    a 27 year old woman suffers fracture of her tibia. the fracture is severe enough that she need immobilzation?
    of the boneas well as the joints both proximal and distal to the bone how should the cast be applied?
    a) across the elbow
    b) from above the elbow to below the wrist
    c) from above the knee to below the ankle
    d) across the knee

    • ANSWER:

  24. QUESTION:
    Whenever I trip I always trip on my left ankle?
    ive fractured my tibia in my left ankle about one and a half years ago and i was in crutches for about 2 months andd everytime i trip , i always trip on my left ankle. is my ankle still weak from the fracture?

    • ANSWER:
      it’s possible. or it could be that you are right-handed and so naturally your left leg will be weaker and not so well coordinated.
      or you could just be really clumsy.

  25. QUESTION:
    Distal tibia fracture?
    Im going to see the ortho in 2 days. I’ve been trying to look up info and can’t seem to find anything. What’s the usual treatment? Where my tibia is there is no pain, its the otherside the ankle that is terribly swollen bruised and painful. The doctors didn’t tell me much and im just curious if anyone has any info! Thanks

    • ANSWER:

  26. QUESTION:
    can you get a surgery to fix the range of motion in ankle? for better movement?
    I was just wondering, i’ve been having so much trouble just to get myself walking and moving again like I used before I shattered my ankle… 8 months of being “disabled” from walking due to ankle (tibia & fibia) fracture and 3 surgery on and off…therefore, my ankle is pretty much stuck and lost much of the range of motion…it barely bends, especially front to back, so it is extremely difficult to walk and people stare at me whenever I am walking because it looks very awkward…
    I’ve been going to physical therapy 2 times a week for almost 6 months. It is true that my ankle loosens up a bit after having it massaged and stretched out by a therapist, however, after the next day, it stiffens up and goes back to the normal condition…to be honest, i don’t know what to do anymore. I work very very hard to keep it moving all the time, but I can’t get my ankle to be moving better.
    Is it possible to get a surgery to get the better range of motion in my ankle? (arthroscopy -I’ve done it)

    • ANSWER:
      A shattered ankle is harder to fix than one that’s just been broken.My ankle was shattered in a wreck n I lost most of the range of motion in it.I was told there was no surgery to get back all of the range but that physical therapy would help regain some.As far as surgery,I was told all they could do after a shatter was to “freeze” my foot in one position to stop the pain.Then I would lose all R.O.M. Good luck to you………..

  27. QUESTION:
    I fractured my ankle and have a full legcast on, but other parts of my leg hurt, why?
    i have a tillaux fracture in my tibia and the bones are displaced 1 mm apart, its been about 4 weeks since this happened, but now my calf and my leg up near the top of the cast hurt a lot. Why do they hurt so much?

    • ANSWER:
      Because your leg has been in the same position for 4 weeks. Nothing to worry about.

  28. QUESTION:
    Tibia and Fibula spiral fracture. Any help?
    On the 26th of September, I fell and did my tibia + fibula with a spiral fracture. I’ve had manipulation under anesthetic on the 27th and with the subsequent x-ray on Tuesday (13th Oct), it looks fine. I have a full leg plaster with the usual fiberglass wrap now. I was wondering if there was anything I could do to help it, considering I go to school with stairs everywhere and I can’t avoid that.

    Other stuff: – 13 years old
    – tibia broken low, near ankle
    – fibula broken about 1/2 way up

    • ANSWER:
      firstly, can i just congratulate you – haha! the best way to break a bone is to do it properly! haha
      and then to answer your question, the best thing for you to do is to try and use the lift at the school – if they have one obviously, otherwise try to minimise the amount of pressure that you put on your broken leg! your diet may also help to heal your bones – eat lots of calcium and veg. The healing process will also depend upon your general health and fitness as well as your age – the younger you are the faster your bones will heal! good luck

  29. QUESTION:
    tibia & fibula fracture?
    i met with an accident on 28 may 09 & my tibia & fibula bone broken into 3 parts.it is compound complex fracture.very next day i had to undergo the surgery.doctors said it is very nasty fracture.doctors put metal rod to hold bones in place.i have got big wound above my ankle which is not yet healed.its 1 month now i am in cast.i am on complete bed rest.doctors told me not to hang my leg.so i have kept my leg straight on pillow.i can move my fingers but i feel numbness in my shin bone.can u pls tell me when this cast will be off ? & when this wound would be healed up ? when will i be able to walk on crutches..also provide me the complete healing time .. my age is 24

    • ANSWER:
      Obviously the healing time varies person to person, so i cant give you exact figures.
      That does sound like a very nasty fracture indeed.
      It usually takes months for the bone to heal, and it would take probs a few more months with the physiotherapist to restore the full weight bearing motion etc.

      Take it easy

  30. QUESTION:
    Has anybody had a tibia/fibula fracture with hardware put in than removed?
    A year ago I broke my leg in a car accident. It was a compound fracture of my tibia and fibula. They did surgery and put a intramedullery tibial nail (rod placed inside my tibia held secured by four screws)
    A week ago I had surgery to remove all the hardware. It was taken out due to it could cause knee and ankle problems in the future.
    I was told that my recovery would be about a week long with minor soreness. Well that isn’t the case. I haven’t been able to put much of any weight baring. With my crutches. I have a lot of skin coloration. My entire leg (knee to foot) is a combination of blue purple green and yellow colors. My shin part is mainly green and yellow and my foot /ankle is mainly purple and blue. Also I’m having extreme bone pain. It hurts the worst when my leg is up on a pillow. it feels like my bone has a heartbeat and. I’m also having randomi ankle twitches. they gave me lortab 750 and they don’t help with. Any pain or discomfort. The pain is so unbareable it has caused sleep loss I have slept 4 hours in the last 60 hours. If any body has any information please reply. I’m desperate!!! :(

    • ANSWER:

  31. QUESTION:
    Serious ankle fracture, what do you think? please help?
    So I really appreciate any medical advice/help with this. I am a very active 24 years old guy and really into soccer. I was playing soccer at the end of May when I slipped and twisted my right ankle outward. I broke the end of my Fibula and as a result tore quite a bit of ligaments. I mainly torn whats called Deltoid and the poterior ligamenets (I had widening between my Fibula and tibia). The Dr did a surgary for me where a plate and screws have been put.in my ankle. I was on crutches for 3 months where I didn’t put any wieght on it whats over( aperently there is a screw that holds the two bones together so that legaments between them heal and if I walk I will break the screw). I was in a fiber cast for 10 days and then air cast the whole time ( so I can move my ankle). This week si the first week for me without crutches and Iam walking(and limping) at the same time. My question is , will it heal?Will I be able to get back to soccer although this is my kicking foot?

    • ANSWER:
      Try posting this same question in ” mybrokenleg.com”
      you should get some answers from that group

  32. QUESTION:
    The side of my shin/tibia is fractured,I’ve been wearing this boot(instead of cast)and now my ankle is swollen
    I fractured my tibia (the side of my shin). I was going to get a cast but the doctor said the cast really weakens your muscles so it’s better to wear this type of removable cast boot. He said to wear it all the time, except for when taking showers and changing, and that is what I’ve been doing. I took it off a few times yesterday and I noticed that my ankle is swollen. When i press on it and move it, my ankle doesn’t hurt. There is no discoloration or anything, it’s just swollen. Does anybody have any idea why this is? Is there any way to bring the swelling down?

    • ANSWER:
      Your ankle is swollen because of the fluids that were released from the injured leg sink to the lowest part of your body (your foot & ankle) due to gravity. It takes time for the body to reabsorb all those fluids but elevating the extremity as much as possible will help.

  33. QUESTION:
    Orthopedics question – what do you call that ankle fracture? (see details)?
    The one at the distal (?lateral) tibia, the distal fibula is weber 1,2,3…. but the tibia one? i forgot, pls help!!!
    Thanks in advance :o)

    • ANSWER:
      Are you asking about a medial malleolar fracture?

  34. QUESTION:
    Two Fractures in Ankle on Sept 19th. Still not healed. How long will it take?
    General Physician didn’t see fractures. Waited two months, got the films and sent them to my cousin who is orthopedic surgeon who saw the fractures. I haven’t worn a boot or anything on the ankle and actually ran and jumped on it a little. How long to completely heal this? My cousin saw the bottom of the tibia chipped and a small fracture on the bone that sticks out on the inside part of the ankle.

    • ANSWER:
      Since you have not been properly treated, you need to have medical attention. Your cousin should hopefully be able to recommend a decent orthopedic surgeon for you to go to.

  35. QUESTION:
    Physical Therapy on Strengthening Ankle?
    I’ve been working on physical therapy for tibia&fibia badly fractured ankle for a while and I am still limping. I’ve gone through several surgeries and I am so sick of not being able to play any sports at all for about 7 months. Is it a good rehab/excercise for me to put one of those cuff weights wrap around my ankle all day? That way, i’m strengthening my ankle whenever I’m walking. Is it a good way to strengthen ankle which was originally fractured?

    • ANSWER:
      It depends on how serious the fracture is and the condition your ankle is in. Excessive weights may be counterproductive and even led to further injury. Consult with the physical therapist to see what else can be done.

  36. QUESTION:
    i just fractured my ankle or something with my tibia?
    and i’m not supposed to put any weight on it. it’s very hard to get up the steps, any ideas on how to make it easier. (i’m on crutches)

    • ANSWER:
      The way I used to do it was to have someone else bring up the crutches and I would use both hands on the railings and my good leg to lift myself up the stairs.

  37. QUESTION:
    When can I bear weight on my fractured ankle?
    The original xrays were negative but they called me the next day and I had to get a cat scan taken. They showed i had 2 minor fractures on in my tibia the other in my fibula. Is it possible to walk in 5 weeks?

    • ANSWER:
      About 5-6 weeks depending on how well you heal and how well you stay off of it…….

  38. QUESTION:
    Fractured my ankle, can I walk with my air cast?
    Complete fracture on my fibula, slight fracture on tibia so it is a bimalleolar fracture. I am now in my second week and I just started wearing an air cast. Anyone know likelihood of me walking with my cast still on? When can I start walking without it?

    • ANSWER:
      DO NOT WALK!

  39. QUESTION:
    When can i walk after fracture leg bone?
    i fractured my tibia bone mid way up on the bone two weeks ago. I have started to apply slight pressure with no pain. I currently wear a boot at all times. Should i start walking using the boot? Also for some reason my ankle bone sometimes hurts off and on?

    • ANSWER:
      It will take at least 2 months in full healing

  40. QUESTION:
    my son has a compound fracture of the tibia?
    the bone came out just above his ankle, has any one any knowledge about what could happen he as had a operation to align the bone but it has slipped slightly he as had a skin graft to cover the hole that the bone came went it came through. been to hospital and they said they going to leave it like that as it as started to heal he will have no movement in his ankle by the looks of thing any one been through this sort of thing

    • ANSWER:
      It depends how old he is, i had a compound fracture of the elbow when i was 10. It took 3 operations and 7 months of physio but eventually i got full mobility back. If i done it now though i am told i would not have much mobility in the joint at all.

  41. QUESTION:
    How long will it take for the cuts of a tibia surgery to heal?
    i fractured my tibia a while ago, and i was told i needed surgery because i didn’t stay on crutches for the full time i needed to. if i get surgery will i be able to be up and doing things the next day? the doctor said they are making two cuts one at my knee and the other at my ankle and there just going to put a medal rode in my leg to secure the bones. i have a lot going on in my life and i cant afford to take time off.

    • ANSWER:

  42. QUESTION:
    fractured tibia; will i walk with a limp after it heals?
    and if so, how long? i broke it completely in half, but no screws/surgery. also, im experiencing pain around my ankle. im not sure if its my ankle or tibia, but the break was all the way up, closer to my knee. any idea what that could be??

    thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      the tibia will effect your ankle because it part of the ankle joint. bones heal well so if the didn’t need metal in you than its sounds like a clean break. shouldn’t have anything to worry about and youll limp for a couple months but itll go away. Ice the pain because youll heal faster. Be as active as your doc will let you and youll heal fast and get in a pool and on a stationary bike as soon as your allowed. eat well and don’t drink

  43. QUESTION:
    tibia possible fracture recovery time?
    2 to 3 months ago I was hit in the shin by a llama’s neck as it was trying to get up fro the ground. The force of the hit almost knocked me to the ground, I could barely stand. It became swollen, badly bruised. Bruise is gone but a shadow is still there, severe pain in my shin, ankle, foot, runs up to under my knee, then up the side of my thigh, to my hip then buttocks. Getting up after sitting is the most painful. This has been getting worse. Mornings aren’t too bad but as the day goes on the pain becomes worse and even Ibuprofen isn’t helping. I figured by this time it should be better. Any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      well, overall bone heals in 8 wks, tissue in 6 wks;; the only suggestion I have for what you’ve explained here is that you may have had a possible stress fracture to the tibia, & left untreated it’s just plain getting worse;; go & see the doc, shoulda when it actually happened;; so, if ya want it fixed, you’re not really gonna find your answers here, or you’re just gonna end up with a really messed up leg!!!

  44. QUESTION:
    suffers a fracture of her tibia.The facture is severe enough that she needs immobilization of the bone as well
    as the joints both proximal and distal to the bone. How should the cast be applied?
    a.acoss the elbow b.From above the elbow to below the wrist c. From above the knee tp below the ankle d. across the knee

    • ANSWER:
      As the Tibia is a bone in the lower leg it is highly unlikelyl for the cast to be appled across the elbow. I fear you are taking the mikey…..

  45. QUESTION:
    How long does it take for a Salter-Harris II fracture take to heal?
    on March 1st I broke my ankle near the growth plate on my tibia (i think and yes i did get x-rays) They said it was a minor fracture, and classified it as a salter-harris 2 fracture. I got my cast on March 2nd and am now on crutches. I did not have surgery. My next appointment with an orthopedic is this wednesday, it will be about a week by then Its been about five days How long till my cast comes off and I can walk again?

    • ANSWER:
      Myster, with this fracture, the most common of that type, you are most likely going to heal in about 6 to 8 weeks. Some children heal faster than others so it maybe a shorter time frame but figure around this period.

  46. QUESTION:
    would a sprain to an ankle be considered as a pre-existing condition for a broken ankle 5 days later….?
    sprain ankle on sunday…returned to work, but then fell down my steps 5 days later, resulting in a tibia fracture…what do you think?

    • ANSWER:
      It wouldn’t be considered a pre-existing condition but it is possible that it contributed to your borken ankle. With a sprain akle mobility is limited which could have made you fall. Also the support your muscles usually give your ankle is diminished causing your weak ankle to be more prone to further injury.

  47. QUESTION:
    Treatment for stress fracture in leg?
    My doctor called and said I ha a stress fracture in both my legs/ankle area. My right ankle has been throbbing since the summer but hurts to touch right above it on my leg. (it’s my inner ankle too). So finally a couple weeks ago we go a bone scan an both Les came up w/ stress fractures. My left leg has never bothered m b4 but it did hurt to touch right above the ankle a little.The doctor sai the right leg was a lot worse. He’s sending me to a sports medicine Doctor tht I’m going to this week. (I forgot to tell u I am a dancer and almost 16 and female). I have competitions coming up and the docto said he’s not sure if I’ll be able to compete and I could be castes but he’s not sure and it’s up to the orthopedics.

    Also I’ve had this raised bruise on my Right leg for a few month and I still hurts to touch it’s on my shin. I’m pretty sure thts not where the stress fracture is b/c my ankle has been hurting a while b4 I got tht bruise but could I hve a fracture there too?

    Is it normal to have “growing pains”/ achey legs eveyday when sitting at a desk or standing? I think I could have arthritis.

    Do I have stress fractures of the tibia or ankle?

    Do you know what they’re going to do for double stress fractures?

    • ANSWER:
      In my case , I required surgery , and a plate inserted . That was 4 years ago , don’t worry , I am doing fine , I’m on my high school football team ( center ) , and until I saw your question , I honestly hardly have thought about it . Trust me , you’ll be fine . I’ll say a prayer for you

  48. QUESTION:
    Stress fracture in both legs?
    My doctor called and said I ha a stress fracture in both my legs/ankle area. My right ankle has been throbbing since the summer but hurts to touch right above it on my leg. (it’s my inner ankle too). So finally a couple weeks ago we go a bone scan an both Les came up w/ stress fractures. My left leg has never bothered m b4 but it did hurt to touch right above the ankle a little.The doctor sai the right leg was a lot worse. He’s sending me to a sports medicine Doctor tht I’m going to this week. (I forgot to tell u I am a dancer and almost 16 and female). I have competitions coming up and the docto said he’s not sure if I’ll be able to compete and I could be castes but he’s not sure and it’s up to the orthopedics.

    Also I’ve had this raised bruise on my Right leg for a few month and I still hurts to touch it’s on my shin. I’m pretty sure thts not where the stress fracture is b/c my ankle has been hurting a while b4 I got tht bruise but could I hve a fracture there too?

    Is it normal to have “growing pains”/ achey legs eveyday when sitting at a desk or standing? I think I could have arthritis.

    Do I have stress fractures of the tibia or ankle?

    Do you know what they’re going to do for double stress fractures?

    • ANSWER:

  49. QUESTION:
    Bone scan results says stress fracture in both legs?!?
    My doctor called and said I ha a stress fracture in both my legs/ankle area. My right ankle has been throbbing since the summer but hurts to touch right above it on my leg. (it’s my inner ankle too). So finally a couple weeks ago we go a bone scan an both Les came up w/ stress fractures. My left leg has never bothered m b4 but it did hurt to touch right above the ankle a little.The doctor sai the right leg was a lot worse. He’s sending me to a sports medicine Doctor tht I’m going to this week. (I forgot to tell u I am a dancer and almost 16 and female). I have competitions coming up and the docto said he’s not sure if I’ll be able to compete and I could be castes but he’s not sure and it’s up to the orthopedics.

    Also I’ve had this raised bruise on my Right leg for a few month and I still hurts to touch it’s on my shin. I’m pretty sure thts not where the stress fracture is b/c my ankle has been hurting a while b4 I got tht bruise but could I hve a fracture there too?

    Is it normal to have “growing pains”/ achey legs eveyday when sitting at a desk or standing? I think I could have arthritis.

    Do I have stress fractures of the tibia or ankle?

    Do you know what they’re going to do for double stress fractures?

    • ANSWER:

  50. QUESTION:
    Broken ankle/fibula/tibia?
    I shattered my fibula, broke a chunk out of the tiba AND a hairline fracture, spread the mortis(?) joint and damaged the ligaments, nerves, etc. I fought with my insurance for 2 weeks to get to see a doctor (seriously!) and after surgery requiring screws (3) and plates (3) 7 months later I still can’t walk a lot, have severe swelling, pain and a very bad limp. I have to use a cane to walk too. I had LIMITED physical therapy thanks to same insurance. I’m nearly 50 but the doctor was impressed at how fast the shattered fibula is fusing back together. The fractures were in three places there, vertial and multiple fragments. How long before I can walk normal again? I have a ‘friend’ that is ashamed of me and tells me I slow him down, I’m not healing fast enough and says I’m a big baby. I dragged myself up a flight of stairs, into my house and called EMS after hopping to the phone. I haven’t cried about this once. I took care of myself 2 weeks after surgery and continue to. So how long?

    • ANSWER:
      I have worse injury than you do (shattered left leg – 8 tib/fib fractures – was hit by a car December 8). I was 7.5 months in a cast and i can walk now but my leg is only healed about 50%.
      I do have pain all the time but i have had it for so long and been threw so much pain it doesnt really bother me anymore.
      Looks like i will need to get out at least couple of screws when it heals more because they are sticking out too much.
      One thing i have better than you do – im much younger so it will take you longer to heal.
      If it is healing at all you are lucky and it means it will heal eventually but dont rush with anything.
      Try walking every day as much as you can (at least an hour is what i did) and eat properly, take multivitamin, B-complex vitamins, Calcium, vitamin C with vitamin D and Fish or Flax oil with breakfast
      Good luck!