The fibula is a bone in the lower leg that is connected to the larger weight-bearing tibia. As the slenderest of the long bones in the body, the fibula is susceptible to fracture, and when this occurs, the soft tissue around the bone is likely to become damaged as well. Fibula fracture treatment will vary according to the severity of the injury, but first aid should always include immobilization of the fractured leg and treatment of any bleeding that may result from the injury. Fibula fracture treatment may include surgery, immobilization, and the RICE treatment.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If the fracture is not severe, the doctor may recommend this course of action to promote healing and prevent swelling and pain. Stress fractures of the fibula will most likely be treated in this way. An x-ray will most likely be a part of fibula fracture treatment, and this step is important to determine the severity of the injury. The severity will often dictate the best fibula fracture treatment. If the fracture is severe enough that it has broken skin and is causing severe pain or bleeding, fibula fracture treatment will be more in-depth.
At the emergency room, a doctor is likely to first treat any bleeding that may be occurring, and he or she may also prescribe medication for pain management, as a fibula fracture can be extremely painful. It is likely that surrounding tissues will have been damaged, and surgery may be necessary to address such damage. If the fracture needs to be reset, this will occur at the emergency room. The worst fracture scenario will require surgery that will involve placing pins or screws that will help hold the bone together. Recovery time after such a surgery can be extensive as the bones heal naturally.
Throughout the process, medication must be provided to help prevent infection. A tetanus shot may be administered, as well as antibiotics that may help prevent infection. Once the bone has been allowed to heal for several weeks or even months, the rehabilitation process may take place to help strengthen the bone as well as the surrounding tissues. A physical therapist may work with the patient to safely strengthen and tone the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones of the leg.