- Fibula fracture can occur during an inversion (inwards) ankle sprain
- It causes pain and swelling on the lateral (outside) aspect of the ankle
- Once identified, crutches and a camwalker boot are required for 1-2 weeks and 4-6 weeks respectively
- Fibula fractures look like a simple ankle sprain when they happen. They have the same mechanism, same symptoms and same appearance as a ligament sprain
- A plain x-ray is usually sufficient to confirm a fibula fracture
- The Ottawa ankle rules are a great tool for anyone to identify the likelihood of a fracture after an ankle sprain
- You can still walk with a fibula fracture! It’s a non-weight bearing bone, so you can still put weight through it (although it will be painful). Don’t rule this injury out based on the ability to load it
- The amount of pain and swelling is often the same as a ligament sprain. The two injuries behave the same until around the 4th day when a fracture will continue to ache, even at rest
- Not every fibula fracture needs surgery. Fractures that are displaced (shifted) are more likely to require surgery to realign the fracture
WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE?
- The most common injury with very similar presentation to a fibula fracture is a Lateral ankle sprain
- If the pain came on gradually, it could be a Peroneal tendinopathy
- If the pain is more central than lateral, it could be a Syndesmosis injury
- If there is no tenderness to push on the posterior (back) of the fibula bone, it could be a Bone oedema/bruise
FREE injury diagnosis app coming soon!Get notified when it launches.