How Do You Treat a Broken Fibula?

treat-broken-fibula Credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images

According to Dr. Jonathan Cluett in an article on fibular fractures, treatment methods for a broken fibula vary from surgery to patients using braces. The treatment differs according to the severity of the injury and whether there are other broken bones.

Dr. Cluett explains that the least severe fibula injury is a fracture to the fibula alone. Because the fibula is the small bone in the leg and carries far less weight than its partner, the tibia, a patient merely needs to wear a brace if it is broken. Often, the injury occurs because of an ankle that twists or bends improperly.

If both the fibula is fractured and the ankle is also injured, treatment is more intense, notes Dr. Cluett. During this type of injury, the ligaments in the ankle are injured and surgery is necessary. Without surgery, the ankle does not align properly. The ligaments in the ankle that get injured are the medial malleolus, deltoid or the syndesmosis.

Dr. Cluett states that another type of injury occurs when the fibula and tibia are both fractured. This sort of injury results from automobile accidents or falls. Depending on the severity of the break, surgery may be required, although this is just surgery to realign the tibia. Sometimes a clean break requires a cast to keep the leg immobile for healing.