Dealing with a Stress Fracture of the Fibula

In general, a stress fracture is an overuse injury. And a stress fracture of the fibula bone is no exception. 

The fibula and tibia comprise the lower leg, below the knee. The tibia is the bigger and stronger of these two bones, and makes up what is commonly known as the shin bone. The fibula, on the other hand, is the thinner of the two bones.  

stress fracture of the fibula

Both of these bones are prone to stress fracture due to their weight bearing function. In fact, about 50% of stress fractures occur in the tibia and fibula bones. The tibia is actually more prone to a stress fracture due to its higher degree of weight and strain. However, the fibula may also become fractured due to stress and the thinness of the bone itself.  

A stress fracture of the fibula often happens in sports that involve running and jumping. These specific movements place a high amount of stress on the bones, which may, in excess, cause them to crack.  

Who is More at Risk?

Athletes who suddenly increase their training intensity, who have begun to train after a period of rest, or who have switched from softer surfaces to more hard surfaces are more at risk of a stress fracture of the fibula.  

In addition, athletes with overpronated feet are also more at risk of experiencing a stress fracture of the fibula. This is due to an imbalance of muscles and muscle use during running, which causes weaknesses in certain parts of the lower leg.  

Other populations that are at a higher risk further include individuals with vitamin D or calcium deficiencies and individuals with bone diseases, such as osteoporosis.  

Treatment and Recovery for a Stress Fracture of the Fibula 

Halting activity and allowing time for the leg to rest is critical to make a full recovery. A brace may provide support to the leg, allowing time for the bone to heal without stress or movement. Before returning to activity, ensure your pain levels are at a zero out of 10. If the fibula fails to heal fully before you return to activity, pain may linger and the injury may persist.  

Follow the advice provided by your manual therapist or sports specialist. You may also be recommended to a massage therapist to further help the body elicit its natural healing mechanisms. At Athlete’s Choice Massage, our therapists are experienced in a variety of sport injuries. Our team is ready to help you get back to your sport of choice, without fear of re-injury or pain.  

As you return to sport, increase your training gradually. Wear supportive footwear and proper equipment to protect your body against re-injury. Come back stronger and better than you were before. 

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