What Happens When the Tibia Bone Breaks?


Quick Answer

The tibia is the most commonly fractured long bone in the body, and when it breaks, it is accompanied by pain, swelling, an inability to bear weight, deformity, or the bone protruding through the skin, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Because breaking the tibia, or shinbone, requires a great deal of force, other injuries often occur along with it.

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What Happens When the Tibia Bone Breaks?
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Full Answer

The tibia bone is typically broken in a high-impact event, such as an automobile accident or sporting accident, as stated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. To confirm diagnosis of a broken bone, a physician takes a history, does a visual examination and orders additional testing, such as X-rays and a CT scan, to confirm diagnosis.

Outside of car or car-pedestrian accidents, a variety of risk factors increase a person's risk of a tibia fracture, including osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, advancing age and participation in sports, such as skiing, soccer, gymnastics or dance, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center. Supportive devices to keep the bone in place while it heals may include a cast, walking boot, brace or splint. In the case of complete bone separation, the bones are put back together either with or without surgery, depending on the situation.

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