Though the fibula only bears 17% of our body’s weight, if it experiences a break or a fracture, it will make itself known. Many patients wonder, “How long does it take a fractured fibula to heal?” The truth is that a broken fibula recovery time can be quite lengthy.
Patients asking, “How long does a broken fibula take to heal?”, the answer is, four to six weeks. As this injuries involves a break or fracture of bone, there is little that can be done to hasten this recovery time other than through preventative measures. The key is to receive the proper care right away and to be patient throughout the entirety of recovery.
Treating a Broken Fibula
Receiving the proper treatment after a broken fibula is imperative to a full and healthy recovery. Seeking medical attention from a sports medicine doctor right away to get a comprehensive diagnosis, will assure that the treatment of your injury is as targeted and effective as possible.
For small stress fractures, small cracks in the fibula as a result of repeated activities such as jumping, some patients may only require simple rest, ice, compression and elevation for a short one to two week recovery. For breaks, the R.I.C.E. method will minimize the effects and hasten the recovery time.
Rest – Taking it easy will help allow the body to perform its natural healing process and limits the risk of reinjury.
Ice – The coolness of the ice will help reduce the swelling that will occur after a broken fibula injury.
Compression – A compression wrap will help support the injured leg and reduce swelling, while a medical boot can also help support the leg and reduce the risk of harm to the injured area.
Elevation – Elevation will help minimize the blood flow to the injured leg in order to reduce swelling and bruising. Keep your injured foot above your heart to reduce excess blood flow.
Closed Reduction Method
The closed reduction method consist of the doctor manually realigning the fibula bone to ensure that the bone heals and connects correctly. This is required when there is a clean break of the fibula bone in two pieces without any fragments. Recovery can vary with this type of injury, so the patient may be able to move around with just a medical boot, crutches, both or may require some bedrest to ensure the best recovery.
For serious misalignments or fractures of the fibula in multiple pieces, surgery is required. This will consist of the orthopaedic surgeon or sports medicine doctor placing equipment inside the leg to help connect and support the broken fibula. Doctors will use metal plates, screws or flexible K-wire to keep the fibula aligned and strong throughout your recovery.
Broken Fibula Potential Complications
Broken fibula treatments are fairly common and rarely result in complications. What is much more likely is for patients to experience a number of different complications if they do not receive medical attention following their fibula break.
Work with the experts at All-Pro Orthopedic and Sports Medicine to give yourself the best chance of avoiding these complications:
- Nonunion – When the bone does not realign or “knit” back together.
- The bone does connect but heals at an awkward angle, which can leave it weaker and more vulnerable to future breaks.
- Pressure builds up in the leg and causes issues with blood flow that can disrupt nerves and muscles.
- Surgery can cause damage to nerves, bleeding or infection in very rare instances.
- The bone shortens after the injury (happens with children).
If you have suffered a broken fibula or stress fracture, contact our Pembroke Pines, Palmetto, West Palm Beach or Hollywood offices today.
Common Questions about Broken Fibula Treatment
What are the signs of a broken fibula?
Fibula fractures occur around the ankle, knee, and middle of the leg. Pain, swelling, and tenderness are the most common signs and symptoms of a fractured fibula.
A broken fibula is often caused by a traumatic injury or excessive pressure on the bone. This can be caused by rolling your ankle, receiving a direct blow to your leg, falling, or experiencing a sports-related injury.
Immediately seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms after an injury to your leg:
- Inability to bear weight on the injured leg
- Bleeding and bruising in the leg
How do I treat a broken fibula?
In any injury, the faster you act, the faster the healing process will begin, and the more likely you will achieve a full recovery. Seek professional help, as putting off a professional diagnosis only increases your risk of poor healing.
In general, you should immediately implement the R.I.C.E. method for fractures. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation will help minimize swelling and the effects of the injury before you seek medical attention.
Head to the nearest All-Pro Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in any of our Florida locations for a complete diagnosis and treatment. Our specialists will provide you with a broken fibula treatment.
How will an orthopedic specialist treat my broken fibula fracture?
Fortunately, our clinics in Florida provide broken fibula treatments. Our orthopedic specialists will use either the closed reduction method or internal fixation via surgery.
The closed reduction method involves realigning the fibula bone manually to ensure that it heals properly and connects correctly. It is necessary when the fibula is broken into two pieces without fragments.
Severe misalignments or fractures may require surgery. Our orthopedic specialists may place equipment inside the leg to help connect and support the broken fibula. Metal plates, screws, or flexible K-wires may be used to keep the fibula aligned and strong.
How long does a broken fibula take to heal?
The truth is that a broken fibula recovery time can be quite lengthy. Most broken fibula fractures will heal within 4 to 6 weeks.
This type of injury involves a break or fracture of a bone, so there is little we can do to speed up the recovery process other than through preventative measures. The key is receiving proper care right away, followed by patience.
Listen to your doctor and your body while recovering from a fractured distal radius. Don’t overwork yourself and risk re-injuring your wrist or failing to heal properly.
Are there complications to broken fibula treatment?
In general, broken fibula treatments are relatively common and rarely cause complications. However, patients are much more likely to experience complications if they don’t seek medical attention after their injury. By working with orthopedic specialists from All-Pro Orthopedic and Sports Medicine in Florida, give yourself the best chance of avoiding complications.