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Fracture fibula and choice of conservative treatment or surgery

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I am a 25 yo male. I fractured my right fibula yesterday and the doctors put my right leg in a cast. They said I could wait 10-12 days to see if a callus forms or go to surgery to add plates. In 4 days I will go to tell them my decision. Personally, I'd like a natural healing. I was told if a callus forms and I don't want surgery, the fibula won't be straight. How does that influence walking and running? Should I opt for a surgery? I attached an X-ray photo.

Category: Orthopedic Surgeon

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Category: Spine Surgeon
 22 Doctors Online


Sorry for the delay in my reply

I have read your query with diligence. I have also checked your x ray.Your Fibula fracture is oblique type. Such type of fractures generally unite well. Please continue the supporting, slab for at least 4-6 weeks.I am very hopeful that it will unite well in this way. There is a chance that the Fibula might not unite straight. But this will not affect walking or running under normal circumstances. You can happily wait !

Hope this helps
Please feel free to ask followup questions.
Thank you

Patient replied :

Am a very active person. Just before the accident I was doing calisthenics almost daily. Can I continue doing exercises at least with the upper body (crunches, etc)? I would also like to walk using crutches as least 10-15 min / day in the house. Will this movement (with no weight on the broken leg) affect my bone healing process?


You should avoid calisthenic exercises as this may affect bone healing. Even if you do the upper body exercises there could be after effects in the leg. Also there is a higher risk of further injury (even if it is trivial). You may walk non weight bearing with help of crutches.

You should get an Xray done during the next visit. There is a remote chances that fibula unite in bend position. Normally either it may unite side to side or in end to end position. But if there is excessive shortening of the Fibula due to union in over riding position, then it may later on lead to arthritis at ankle joint. So if in x ray after 2 weeks there is no shortening of fibula with presence of union then this will in any way do not affect your running or walking. If it is going to be united in shortening position then you may have to opt for surgery.

Basically all looks good now. Please do not complicate/risk it by further exercise / weight bearing.

Hope this will help you.
Thank you

Patient replied :

I understand. Another doctor said to be careful not be have a Maisonneuve fracture as it is more difficult to detect. Should I be worried about that?

In MAISONNEUVE FRACTURE there is spiral fracture of upper end of fibula with injury to ankle. This can be easily detected by having X ray of upper part of leg.There is associated pain & swelling at upper part of leg. This not much of a concern in your case.

Wish you speedy recovery.
Thank you

Dr. Mukesh Tiwari
Category: Spine Surgeon
Fellowship - Khandaka Hospital, Jaipur
Residency - MS, Rabindranath Tagore Medical College, Udaipur, 2000
Medical School, Internship - MBBS, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, 1995
Dr. Mukesh Tiwari and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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