The shinbone, also known as the tibia, is a long bone situated in the lower leg between the knee and the foot. Tibial fractures are frequent and are generally the result of an accident or repeated strain on the bone.
A break is also known as a fracture. In other situations, the sole indication of a little fracture is shin soreness when walking. The tibia bone may protrude through the skin in more severe situations. Tibial fracture recovery and healing times vary depending on the kind and degree of the fracture. A medical expert can treat fractures, and at-home activities can help a person heal faster.
This page discusses the many forms of tibial fractures, as well as the symptoms, treatment, and healing time frames associated with a broken tibia.
What is a tibia fracture?
The tibia is the most often fractured long bone in the body, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Any crack or break in the tibia bone is referred to as a tibia fracture.
The tibia is one of two bones that comprise the lower leg; the other is the fibula. The bigger of these two bones is the tibia.
The tibia is important in body mechanics because it is:
- The bigger of the two bones in the lower leg.
- The majority of the body’s weight is supported by this structure.
- It is necessary for optimal knee and ankle joint mechanics.
A broken tibia is frequently associated with different types of tissue injury to adjacent muscles or ligaments. A medical professional should always be consulted.
The tibia and fibula are the two bones that make up the lower leg. The largest of the two bones is the tibia. It plays a crucial role in the knee and ankle joints and supports the majority of your body weight.
Symptoms of tibia fracture?
Your symptoms will vary depending on how bad the fracture is. Symptoms may include a lot of discomfort in your lower leg, Inability to bear weight on your wounded leg numbness or tingling in your foot deformities in your lower leg, knee, shin, or ankle area bone protruding through a skin break restricted bending motion in and around your knee swelling at the site of your injury bruising and blueness on your damaged leg
Types of tibia fracture
The degree and kind of fracture may differ depending on the etiology of the shattered bone. It might be a transverse fracture, which means the break runs horizontally across the bone, or an oblique fracture, which means the crack is angled.
Proximal fractures occur in the top section of the tibia. Tibia shaft fractures occur under this region.
The tibia can have the following types of fracture:
A stable fracture is one in which the majority of the bone is still intact and in its usual location. Throughout the healing process, the tibia’s shattered pieces align and keep their proper alignment. Having a non-displaced fracture is what this is.
A bone break that causes a displaced fracture causes a portion of the bone to migrate and become out of alignment. To treat this kind of fracture and straighten the bones, surgery is frequently required.
Overuse injuries are frequently caused by stress fractures, also known as hairline fractures. These bone fractures are represented by tiny, delicate fissures.
The bone may fracture in a spiral pattern when a twisting motion induces a break.
A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone splits into three pieces or more.
What causes a tibia fracture?
The most common reasons for tibia fractures are:
High-energy collisions; these are generally caused by motorcycle or automotive accidents and can result in the most serious fractures.
Falls, particularly those from great heights and on hard surfaces: This is especially true for the elderly, who may lack steadiness, and athletes.
Twisting actions such as pivoting are typical causes of this sort of injury in sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and contact sports.
Some medical disorders may also have an impact on your tibia fracture. Type 2 diabetes and pre-existing bone problems such as osteoarthritis are examples of these.
Diagnosis of tibia fracture
Your doctor will do a thorough examination after reviewing your injuries and medical history. He or she will first check your general health before focusing on your leg. Your doctor will check for the following:
- An obvious deformity of the tibia/leg (an unusual angle, twisting, or shortening of the leg)
- Breaks in the skin
- Bony pieces that may be pushing on the skin
- Instability (some patients may retain a degree of stability if the fibula is not broken or if the fracture is incomplete)
Your doctor will feel your tibia, leg, and foot following the ocular examination to check for any anomalies. Your doctor will check your leg and foot for feeling and movement while you are awake and aware.
It produces detailed pictures of the bones, and is the most used method for evaluating fractures. The condition of the tibia can be determined using X-rays. Additionally, they may display the kind of fracture and its location inside the tibia. X-rays can also be used to determine whether the knee or ankle joints are involved and whether a fibula fracture is present.
Computed tomography (CT) scans
If your doctor needs further information after analyzing your x-rays, he or she may request a CT scan. A CT scan of your limb provides a cross-sectional picture. It might offer crucial information to your doctor regarding the severity of the fracture. For example, fracture lines might be exceedingly thin and difficult to spot on an x-ray. Your doctor can notice the lines more clearly using a CT scan.
Treatment tibia fracture
The treatment of a tibia fracture is determined by various factors, including the individual’s general health at the time of the accident, the source and severity of the injury, and the existence or amount of damage to the soft tissues that surround the tibia.
In severe situations, surgery may be essential to make sure the bone heals properly. A surgeon may use metal screws and plates to keep the bone in place, enabling it to recover with minimum long-term harm.
Rods or pins put through the bones above and below the fracture may also be used by the surgeon. To keep the bone in place, they will connect them to a stiff frame known as an external fixator.
A doctor may employ the following treatments for a fractured tibia if surgery is not required or is not possible, for example, due to a person’s health.
- A splint or cast is used to keep the bone in place, prevent it from moving, and enable it to recover. A splint is readily removed, making it a more flexible treatment option than surgery.
- In situations of less severe breaks, a traction or functional brace is utilized to keep the bone in place while it heals.
A person with a tibial fracture will frequently need physical therapy in addition to crutches or a walker to help them stand up again.
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