A client is walking in a parking lot. The next thing he realizes is a car backing out of a parking space and doesn't see him. The client tries to move out of the way and the car clips his leg at the level of the knee. He falls to the ground and feels instant pain on the outside of the knee. His wife takes him to St. Anthony Medical Center. The ER doctor orders x-rays that looks like these:
The ER doctor told the client that he has a fracture in the fibula head.The doctors wraps his leg in a big ace wrap and sets him up to see an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon puts the client in a short leg walker cast.
The Dangers of a Fibula Fracture
Here are my concerns for clients with fibula fractures The fibula is the small bone that runs along the outside of the lower leg.The top part closest to the knee is called the head (circled in yellow). The bottom part is the little bump on the outside of your ankle called the lateral malleolus. The good part about a fib fracture it usually heals up pretty well in a short leg cast.
The main complications that I worry about is a particular nerve injury. The peroneal nerve (common fibular nerve) travels in the area of the fibula head and depending on the severity of the break can be injured. Injury to the peroneal nerve can cause a condition called foot drop.
This potential consequence has to be identified and accounted for before settling an injury case with a fibula head fracture.If you have any questions, you can always give me a call.
Photo attribution:short leg walker: By Pagemaker787 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46455891
fibula head fracture: J Korean Fract Soc. 2013 Jan:26(1):77-80; http://dx.doi.org/10.12671/jkfs.2013.26.1.77. Copyright (c) 2013. The Korean Fracture Society.