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Tib fib surgery

tib fib surgery

It's the on-call home of orthopedic surgeons with Vail-Summit To repair the tib-fib, Sterett had to remove my kneecap and insert a. Fracture of tibia or fibula following insertion of orthopedic implant, joint prosthesis, or bone plate, right leg · M96. · Short description: Fx tib/fib fol insrt. Depending on the severity of the break and the complexity of the surgery that time could be even longer. This initial healing period is.
tib fib surgery

Broken Leg Cost

Typical costs:
  • Without health insurance, non-surgical treatment for a broken leg typically costs up to $2,500 or more for a fracture that requires a cast. A leg X-ray costs an average of $210, according to[1]but can cost as much as $1,000 or more at some radiology centers. And application of a short or long leg cast costs about $221 to $238, not including the doctor fee, according to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[2] in Lincoln, Nebraska. A typical doctor fee for non-surgical treatment of a fracture would include tib fib surgery $90 to $200 for the office visit and from $250 to $950 for treatment, according to Carolina Orthopaedic Surgery Associates[3] .
  • Without health insurance, surgical treatment of a broken leg typically costs $17,000 to $35,000 or more. For example, at the Kapiolani Medical Center in Hawaii, repair of an uncomplicated leg fracture[4] costs about $16,082, while repair of a complicated leg fracture[5] costs about $33,565, tib fib surgery including the surgeon's fee. A typical surgeon's fee could reach $2,000 or more, according to Carolina Orthopaedic Surgery Associates[6] .
  • A broken leg generally would be covered by health insurance. With health insurance, typical expenses for treatment for a broken leg could include doctor visit copays and treatment coinsurance that could reach thousands of dollars or the yearly out-of-pocket maximum.
Related articles:Broken Arm, Broken Tailbone Treatment, Sprained or Broken Ankle, Crutches, Wheelchair, Cane

What should be included:
  • For a hairline fracture or less complicated fracture, the doctor would realign the bones (called a "reduction") if necessary, then place a plaster cast on the leg; depending on the location of the break, this could be a short leg cast or a full leg cast.
  • For surgical treatment, the patient typically would be placed under general anesthesia; then, the surgeon would make an incision and place screws and/or other hardware to hold the bones in place during healing.
  • The Mayo Clinic[7] has an overview of treatments typically used for a broken leg. Recovery typically takes at least six to eight weeks, according to WebMD[8] .
Additional costs:
  • Going to an emergency room for treatment initially could add $1,000 to $2,000 or more to the final bill; costs would include an emergency room visit fee, an emergency room doctor fee and the cost of a temporary cast such as an air cast; the patient would then need to seek treatment from a specialist.
  • Crutches cost about $15 to $40 for a basic pair or up to $100 or more for deluxe forearm crutches.
  • Physical therapy might be necessary to help regain strength and balance. Several sessions per week at $50 to $75 per hour for six to eight weeks could cost $1,000 or more.
  • For patients who have a broken bone treated surgically, metal hardware usually can be left in, unless it causes irritation; if removal is required, it can cost between $2,533 and $11,710 or more, according to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[9] in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • Some orthopedic specialists offer discounts for uninsured/cash paying patients. For example, Southern California Orthopedic Institute offers discounted services for cash-paying patients, and Northwest Community Hospital Orthopedic Services Center[10]in Chicago, offers discounts for prompt payment.
  • Some free clinics, such as Community Health Free Clinic[11] in Chicago, offer orthopedic specialty care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[12] offers tib fib surgery directory of federally funded health centers; if the nearest clinic doesn't offer orthopedic care, ask for a referral.
Shopping for a broken leg:
  • The general practitioner can refer the patient to a specialist. Or, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery[13] offers an orthopedic surgeon finder by city, state or zip code. If the break resulted from a sports injury, the patient could seek treatment from a sports medicine specialist, which could be either a family physician or an orthopedic surgeon; the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine[14] has a doctor finder.
  • If surgery is required, risks include: reaction to anesthesia, infection, blood clots, reaction to hardware and even death.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
CostHelper News

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Posted by: Dieselwrench93 in Spartanburg, SC.Posted: September 18th, 2021 12:09PM
Type of Injury: Tib/ Fib fracturesType of Treatment: Internal Fixation
Medical Facility: Spartanburg RegionalInsurance Carrier: None

Total before "discounts" was $85,952. I suffered a spiral fracture of my tibia down 1/3 of the bone and fractures of Tib & Fib below the knee. I had a rod placed in my tibia,a plate to hold the upper tibia fracture, and 14 screws to hold everything in place. The surgery was performed by Carolina Ortho cited 6th in the article above. I'm still in recovery so more costs to come and the 50k is just the hospital, not PT, follow-ups etc. So far satisfied with surgery, but the costs of things itemized in the hospital bill are ridiculous! $130 per minute at 210 minutes operating time ($28k),up to $1400 per screw (14 total), $10k in I.V.s and pain meds. $700 per blood clot shot that cost me $3.20 a piece when discharged! $2k a night room and board $12k anesthesia, and the list just goes on for pages.

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Posted by: ILLMATTER in Fredericksburg, VA.Posted: July 12th, 2020 03:07PM
Type of Injury: Tibia Plataue FractureType of Treatment: Titanium Plate and Screws
Medical Facility: HospitalInsurance Carrier: United Health Care

Fractured the Tibia Plateau in half and had cartilage damage. Titanium plate and 9 screws. 3 months of non weight bearing and 18 weeks of PT. Still do not have full range of motion no matter how much I stretch.

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Posted by: Matthew Gibson in Nottingham UK, Other.Posted: October 3rd, 2019 11:10PM
Type of Injury: Both broken arms, legs, ribs and collarType of Treatment: Major surgery
Medical Facility: Queens Medical Centre Nottingham UKInsurance Carrier: NHS (National Health Services)

I was born in the UK and you always seem to knock the waiting lists we have to wait for treatment of non urgent illnesses in the UK when compared to your waiting times. Well I earn around £50,000 per annum and I pay what's called National Insurance out of my salary each month which is taken automatically from my salary. The cost of this is about £140 ($125 roughly) per month and EVERY hospital, doctors surgery visit is completely FREE of charge. I was involved in a very serious car accident and was in an induced coma for 4 weeks whilst they rebuild both arms, both legs, my right knee, right eye socket and right collar bone and I was in ICU for 5 weeks and left hospital after 3 months

I estimate the total cost of all care of in the USA to be approximately £2M. But all it cost me was the equivalent of $125 per month. So whilst my NHS has its problems, it saved my life at the point of need and is and will always be FREE of charge at point of use.

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Posted by: Total shock in Rolla, MO.Posted: June 22nd, 2019 05:06PM
Type of Injury: Tib/ double FibType of Treatment: Tib rod/ Fib plate 14 nails/ screws

This don't include surgeons fee

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Posted by: Timoty Kindred in San Antnoio, TX.Posted: May 14th, 2018 06:05PM
Medical Facility: UTHSCInsurance Carrier: Allstate
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Posted by: Americanhealthcareistooexpensivr in Crete, Tib fib surgery December 14th, 2017 03:12PM
Medical Facility: Kuta Raya General Hospital (Bali, Indon)Insurance Carrier: None

I got into a scooter accident while traveling in Bali and had to make an emergency room visit to see why my leg was numbing. Had quick and excellent care and was given a cd of my X-rays to get further opinions from American orthopedist if I so desired. The bottom line is American healthcare is a joke and we pay extraordinary amounts for basic services.

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Posted by: The real 801 in Colorado springs, CO.Posted: September 7th, 2017 10:09AM
Medical Facility: Penrose hospitalInsurance Carrier: Kaiser

This is for a broken femur with i.m. nail installed, not including the 21,700 flight for life bill. This was a 130,000 + dirtbike crash.

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Posted by: Xoxo in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: July 5th, 2017 01:07AM
Medical Facility: fountain valley regional CaliforniaInsurance Carrier: Obamacare

I once thought Imanaged just fine without insurance, paying cash for appts if I needed to see a doc.
Until I fell and broke my leg, a doctor tried to stick me in an ambulance at the ER and send me home. The nurse caring for me refused to leave after her shift was over, she stayed by my bed and waited for a social worker to get involved with my predicament.
They informed me I was being dumped by the hospital because I had no insurance, when the hospital is going to survive just fine and had a legal obligation to inform me I was covered under Obamacare the ER doc on call just didn't want to accept the rate they would pay him. I waited almost 2 weeks for surgery to with my leg shattered in 6 places. I heard they can charge over 100k for complicated breaks if you have good insurance but if your on government funded programs the set rate is about $10,000.
Thank God some doctors will work for the lower rate, my life changed dramatically the moment I tripped on a cracked

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Posted by: MADMOMMY in Orange County, CA.Posted: April 25th, 2017 04:04PM
Type of Injury: Broken LegType of Treatment: Cast, X Rays, Physical Therapy

My daughter was at a trampoline park and broke it, I was appalled and furious I had to pay this much because she was messing around. To pay $60,000 on something that could have been avoided is the most wasteful thing I think I have ever had to do.

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Posted by: Best Skier Never in Truckee, CA.Posted: April 18th, 2017 01:04PM
Medical Facility: Tahoe Forest Hospital DistrictInsurance Carrier: United Healthcare

Surgery & Hospitalisation:
Insurer Paid $46,869.58
I Paid $3673.92
Ambulance For Bleeding From Wound Following Discharge:
Billed: $2,821.53
(I've fighting with these characters to make them bill my insurer; avoid AMR like the plague if at all possible!)
Brace & Crutches: $382.00
Unincluded but maybe helpful fkr readers:
Physical therapy twice weekly; my insurer pays 90% and I must pay 10%.
Prescriptions for drugs and supplies to alleviate pain and enable basic chores (cold packs, a shower bench, urinal, etc.)
Costs for drivers and a personal assitant (if you live alone and break your leg, you will almost certainly incur such costs!)
Removal of hardware (I'm informed this will almost certainly be deemed elective surgery, and insurers pay nothing.).

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Posted by: Darrel in SAN JOSE, CA.Posted: April 21st, 2016 12:04PM
Type of Injury: Minor Broken LegType of Treatment: repaied with pins
Medical Facility: St. Louise - Gilroy CAInsurance Carrier: Medicare

Average charge for the pins - $2,000 each

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Posted by: Emmy in Fairfax, VA.Posted: January 19th, 2016 10:01AM
Type of Injury: Closed FactureType of Treatment: Intramedullary Rod with 4 screws
Medical Facility: Fairfax HospitalInsurance Carrier: Cigna

I had 2 surgeries and spent 4 days in the hospital with meals included. I only paid $100.00 with insurance.

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Posted by: Buttons in Grand Rapids, MI.Posted: July 14th, 2015 08:07AM
Type of Injury: femur spiral fractureType of Treatment: non incision surgery
Medical Facility: Spectrum HealthInsurance Carrier: Aetna

Aetna picked up $9218 of the total bill.
ANESTHESIA $402 and $603
Surgery to set cast (no incision) $1418
X-ray $116
X-Ray $71 (double billed?)
Urgert care doctor $238
ambulance to spectrum $582.50 (i could of saved $800 by going straight to ER)
It seems everytime a nurse comes into the room i got some sort of bill / misc charge for $200-400 even if they didnt do anything That over the course of 36 hours and you have a $15,030 bill

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Posted by: i3700 in Danville, PA.Posted: August 7th, 2014 07:08PM
Medical Facility: Geisinger Hospital Danville PaInsurance Carrier: Amerihealth Nj

Seams at least double what it should be in my opinion these figures are based on benifits statement from amerihealth not the bill from hospital wich we have yet to receive and am not looking forward to because according. To amerihealth 82,300. And they only covered shy of 10,000 leaving us responsible for 72,000 WTF! Never will we be able to pay that! Plates rod screws and nails by the way

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Posted by: Patientenuff in Brooklyn, NY.Posted: August 8th, 2013 12:08PM
Type of Injury: Blunt traumaType of Treatment:
Medical Facility:Insurance Carrier: N/a

Are screws neccessary for a hairline fracture. I have to have reconstructive surgery on my acl, and they say I need 5k just for the screws. I need help.I'm stressed out and in pain. Now I have to take a ridiculous loan and hope this is the solution. Please any feedback is helpful.

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Posted by: Bankrupt mominTX in Houston, TX.Posted: April 19th, 2013 12:04PM
Type of Injury: fractured tib/fibType of Treatment: rod/screws implant
Medical Facility: Methodist Tib fib surgery Carrier: None

Agree with the person stating $3000 for a broken ankle is sad but doable. How is it possible for the hospital alone, not even including DRs fees to be over $57000, yes, $57000?!?! That is NOT a typo! For a broken leg. It wasn't even a compound fracture. Disagree with media Mom, gov't involvement is the problem, not the solution. More competition and price posting. Insurance companies refusing to be gouged. Avoid Houston's Methodist hospitals! They will take advantage of you!

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Posted by: David L. in Danbury, CT.Posted: February 2nd, 2013 12:02PM
Type of Injury: Hairline Fracture of a TibiaType of Treatment: Crutches
Medical Facility: Danbury Orthopedic AssociatesInsurance Carrier: Blue Cross of Illinois

My son had a hairline fracture of his right tibia. One office visit, one set of x-rays and crutches. Insurance brought the bill down to $805.84.

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Posted by: vaquandra in greensboro, NC.Posted: December 23rd, 2012 05:12AM
Type of Injury: leg broken in two placesType of Treatment: long leg cast big brace a air boot
Medical Facility: discount medicasInsurance Carrier: none

i did all this on the 4th of july and i am still using crutches now and will have to use them for the rest of my life

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Posted by: mark blanchard in nacogdoches, TX.Posted: November 19th, 2012 05:11PM
Type of Injury: broken legType of Treatment: surgury to repair and implant steel rod
Medical Facility: nacogdoches medicalInsurance Carrier: scott and white
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Posted by: Jsmooth in Greensboro, NC.Posted: November 1st, 2012 09:11PM
Type of Injury: broken ankleType of Treatment: screws, cast
Medical Facility: Cone HospitalInsurance Carrier: none

Am I doing something wrong? the earlier comments mention getting the ankle fixed for a reasonable sum. 21,000 all things included is outrageous, 3,000 is bad news but do-able. I have no idea how I'm going to pay these bills

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Posted by: Media Mom in media, PA.Posted: October 22nd, 2012 06:10AM
Type of Injury: broken ankleType of Treatment: cast
Medical Facility: PremiereInsurance Carrier: none

This is why we need universal health care! A simple broken ankle
should not cost $3,000!d If the gov't were involved, it would put competition in to the market to help lower such obnoxious costs. And I DO have insurance--they paid $50.00!

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Posted by: Jonas wiafe Akenteng in ACCRA, Other.Posted: December 14th, 2011 07:12AM
Type of Injury: broken thighType of Treatment: plate ad screw
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What to know about a tibia fracture

The shinbone or tibia is the long bone located in the lower leg between the knee and foot. Tibial fractures are common and usually caused by an injury or repetitive strain on the bone.

A fracture is another word for a break. In some cases, the only symptom of a small fracture is a pain in the shin while walking. In more severe cases, the tibia bone may protrude through the skin.

The recovery and healing time for tibial fractures differs and depends on the type and severity of the fracture. Fractures can be treated by a medical professional, and at-home exercises can speed up a person’s recovery.

This article looks in detail at types of tibial fractures, along with the symptoms, treatment, and recovery times for a fractured tibia.

What is a tibia fracture?

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the tibia is the most common long bone in the body to fracture. A tibia fracture refers to any crack or breaks in the tibia bone.

The tibia is one of two bones that make up the lower leg, the other being the fibula. The tibia is the larger of these two bones.

The tibia plays a key role in body mechanics, as it is:

  • the larger of the two lower leg bones
  • responsible for supporting most of the body weight
  • vital for proper knee and ankle joint mechanics

A fractured tibia often occurs with other kinds of tissue damage to the nearby muscles or ligaments. It should always be checked out by a medical professional.

Types of tibia fracture

Depending on the cause of the broken bone, the severity and type of fracture may vary. It may be a transverse fracture, meaning the crack is horizontal across the bone, or oblique, meaning the crack is at an angle.

Proximal fractures are those that affect the upper part of the tibia. Tibia shaft fractures occur below this area.

The tibia can have the following types of fracture:

  • Stable fracture. A stable fracture involves a crack in the bone that leaves most of the bone intact and in its normal position. The broken parts of the tibia line up and maintain their correct position during the healing process. This is called a non-displaced fracture.
  • Displaced fracture. With a displaced fracture, a crack in the bone moves part of the bone so that it is no longer aligned. Surgery is often needed to correct this type of fracture and realign the bones back together.
  • Stress fracture. Stress fractures, also called hairline fractures, are common overuse injuries. These fractures are small, thin cracks in the bone.
  • Spiral fracture. When a twisting movement causes a break, there may be a spiral-shaped fracture of the bone.
  • Comminuted fracture. When the bone fractures into three or more pieces, this is called a comminuted fracture.

Below is a 3-D model of a stable fracture of the tibia.

This model is fully interactive and can be explored with your mouse pad or touchscreen.

When bones are broken, they can either stay under the skin or break through its surface. Open fractures are fractures where a broken bone breaks through the skin. With closed fractures, the bone does not break the skin, though there may still be internal tissue damage.

Cause of tibia fractures

Long bones in the body are resilient, but there are many ways that a person can sustain a tibia fracture. These include:

  • traumatic injuries, such as motor vehicle accidents or falls
  • sports that involve repeated impact to the shinbones, such as long-distance running
  • injuries from contact sports such as American football
  • osteoporosis, which makes the bones weaker than usual

Symptoms of tibia fracture

Symptoms of a fractured tibia may include:

  • localized pain in one area of the tibia or several areas if there are multiple fractures
  • lower leg swelling
  • difficulty or inability to stand, walk, or bear weight
  • leg deformity or uneven leg length
  • bruising or discoloration around the shinbone
  • sensation changes in the foot
  • bone protruding through the skin
  • a tent-like appearance where the skin is being pushed up by the bone

Diagnosis of tibia fracture

To diagnose a fractured tibia, a doctor will ask about a person’s medical history and how the injury happened. They will do an examination and order diagnostic tests to assess the extent of the injury and whether the bone is fractured. This is important for determining the best course of treatment.

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • an X-ray to have an image of the tibia
  • a computed tomography (CT) scan, also called a CAT scan, which is more powerful than an X-ray and gives a 3-D image of the bone
  • a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for a detailed image of the muscles, ligaments, and bones around the tibia

An MRI scan is often used if the other scans have not been able to diagnose the problem.


Treatment of a tibia fracture depends on several factors, including a person’s overall health at the time of the injury, the cause and severity of the injury, and the presence or extent of damage to the soft tissues that surround the tibia.

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to make sure the bone heals properly. A surgeon may place metal screws and plates on the bone to hold it in the right place, allowing it to heal with minimal long-term damage.

The surgeon may also use rods placed inside the tibia or pins placed through the bones above and below the fracture. They will attach these to a rigid frame called an external fixator to hold the bone in place.

Where surgery is not necessary or is not possible, for instance, due to a person’s health, a doctor may use the following treatments for a fractured tibia:

  • A splint or cast to hold the bone in place, stop it from moving and allow it to heal. A splint can be removed easily and so it is a more flexible treatment option than surgical ones.
  • A traction or functional brace, which is used in cases of less severe breaks to hold the bone in place while it heals.

In many cases, a person with a tibial fracture will require physical therapy and crutches or a walker to help them get back on their feet.


Recovery from a tibial fracture varies based on the severity of the fracture.

A person will often recover within 4 to 6 months. Recovery time may be longer for a complete break compared to a partial one and may take longer if a person has poor health for other reasons.

It may take longer than this time frame for a person to be able to return to their normal activities. People should always follow their doctor’s recommendations about returning to walking, exercising, and other physical activity after a leg fracture.

Certain exercises can help to take the pressure off the tibia bone, such as exercises that strengthen the hips, calves, and thighs. This protection may also prevent future injuries from happening.


Complications of a tibia fracture may include:

  • complications from surgery or the need for further surgeries
  • nerve, muscle, or blood vessel damage
  • compartment syndrome, a serious condition which there is a reduction in blood supply to the leg due to swelling
  • a bone infection called osteomyelitis
  • development of a non-union where the bone does not heal

In many cases, a tibial fracture will be successfully managed without complication.


Fractures of the tibia or shinbone are common and can be caused by many types of situations. They can occur anywhere along the bone and include many variations in fracture type.

Fractures can be minor and take a short time to heal or more serious and require extensive surgery and healing times.

The long-term outlook for a tibia tib fib surgery is usually good but depends on the severity of the injury and other health-related factors. Doctors will be able to provide a person with a long-term outlook during the evaluation and healing process as their leg recovers.


Fibular Hemimelia

Most children with fibular hemimelia (FIB-yoo-luhr heh-me-MEEL-yuh) have it in one leg, but some have it in both. Experts who treat bone problems have several options to help kids with a hemimelia.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Fibular Hemimelia?

Here are some of the things that parents might see when a baby is born with hemimelia:

  • When all or some of the bone is missing in one leg, the leg is shorter than the other. Doctors call this a leg length discrepancy.
  • Because the shinbone is short or missing, the ankle joint may not form as it should. The ankle and foot might look different from normal.
  • The child's knee and lower leg might bend inward.
  • The child's lower leg may bow out.
  • The foot may not have all five toes.

A baby with hemimelia can have problems that parents won't see. Doctors can find these through physical exams and tests:

  • The hip joint may be too shallow.
  • Some of the ligaments (strong, flexible bands of tissue) that hold the knee together may be weak or missing.

What Causes Fibular Hemimelia?

Scientists and doctors don't know exactly why babies are born with fibular commbank bpay number. But they do know that nothing a mom does during pregnancy causes the problem. Parents can't stop it from happening, but they can help kids get the best care.

How Is Fibular Hemimelia Diagnosed?

Often, doctors know that a fibula is short or missing before a baby is born. That's because prenatal (before birth) ultrasound scans show the baby's bones as they form and grow.

If a mom didn't get a scan while pregnant, doctors will see the fibular hemimelia when the baby is born. They may order these tests to learn more:

  • X-rays will show what the bones and joints look like.
  • MRIs will let doctors see ligaments and other soft tissue in the foot and joints.

How Is Fibular Hemimelia Treated?

Treatment depends on how the child is affected. Some children with fibular hemimelia have very mild limb length difference and need very little treatment. Others have a large limb length difference and unstable joints.

When a child has fibular hemimelia, the leg may not grow as fast or as long as it should. Kids might have trouble standing or walking. Getting the right treatment is important.

Different experts work as a team to treat fibular hemimelia. The team is led by specialists (doctors and other health care providers who treat bone and muscle problems). They work with other specialists as needed. Your child's team also might include physical therapists and an .

The care team will come up with a plan to help your child stand, walk, and play like other kids. The plan is based on:

  • how much bone is missing
  • how much difference there is in the length of the legs
  • how the problem might affect your child as he or she grows
  • whether your child has foot or ankle problems

You might need to bring your child for a series of visits over several months before the care team decides on treatment. This gives the team time to understand how your child will grow and what the difference in leg length might be.

When there isn't a lot of difference in leg length, a child might wear a special shoe or shoe insert. But most kids need surgery.

What Surgeries Can Treat Fibular Hemimelia?

Doctors do different surgeries depending on a child's situation. Most kids get surgery to help their legs grow to the same length. Others need surgery to stand and walk. Some kids only need one surgery. Others have several surgeries during their growing years.


When kids have small differences in leg length, the care team might suggest a surgery called epiphysiodesis (eh-pih-fiz-ee-AH-deh-sis). For this surgery to work, kids must still be growing.

During the surgery, one or two of the growth plates in the longer leg are scraped or compressed with surgical plate and screws. A growth plate is an area at the end of the bone where new growth happens. The surgery slows or stops the longer leg from growing so the shorter leg can catch up.

Leg-Lengthening Surgery

Kids who get leg-lengthening surgery usually need a few operations over several years. The surgery can add about 8 inches (20 centimeters) to the shorter leg.

In this surgery, the orthopedic team places a lengthening device on the shorter leg. The device might be on the outside of the body or inside the bone.

Other Surgeries

Besides surgery to fix leg length differences, some kids need surgery to help them stand and walk. These surgeries repair bones, muscles, and joints that didn't form correctly because of the hemimelia.

Treatment for Severe Fibular Hemimelia

Sometimes orthopedic experts know that surgery won't help a child to stand or walk properly. A child might have one leg that is a lot shorter than the other or a foot problem that can't be fixed. For these kids, a offers the best chance to live an active life.

Doctors might amputate (do surgery to remove) part of the foot or leg so the child can wear a prosthesis. Orthotists then fit the child with a prosthetic lower leg.

New prosthetics let kids who have had an amputation run, climb, and jump like other kids. Most kids can play sports.

Kids who wear prosthetic legs need to see an orthotist at least once a year. The orthotist will adjust the prosthesis or make a new one as the child grows.

How Can Parents Help?

Helping children with fibular hemimelia reach their full potential takes many years. Kids need medical care until they are done growing. Because of this, doctors want parents to play a big role in treatment.

Here are things you can do:

  • Talk to your child's care team about treatment and healing. Ask questions. Find out what each surgery is for and how to care for your child after them.
  • Take your child to all medical visits. Some surgeries need to be done at the right time in the child's growth. Missing that time may mean kids can't get the surgery or it won't work as well.
  • If your child is old enough, talk about treatments and what to expect. Include older kids in surgery decisions when you can. Doctors can often schedule a surgery so it doesn't interfere with an activity a child wants to do.


"What was exciting about our project was that all the mechanical analysis was done blinded to the clinical treatment of the patients, and the surgeon never saw any of our data," says Hannah Dailey, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Lehigh University's P.C. Rossin School of Engineering and Applied Science. "When we put it all together, we were able to answer the question, 'Can the virtual mechanical test predict how long it will take the patient to heal?' We found that it could."

Dailey, who is also affiliated with Lehigh's Institute for Functional Materials and Devices (I-FMD), is the lead author of "Virtual Mechanical Testing Based On Low-Dose Computed Tomography Scans for Tibial Fracture." The paper appeared in the July 3 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Most people who break their tibia, or shin bone, proceed along a normal healing timeline. As the weeks go by, more and more new bone called callus forms along the fracture line. Callus starts out as a spongy material that over time hardens into bone that is just as strong -- or stronger -- than it was before the break. Patients typically come in for X-rays at regular intervals, and as long as the images reveal there's increasingly more callus in the region, all is well.

But some people don't heal normally. This failure to heal is called a nonunion, and it can be utterly debilitating.

"Musculoskeletal injuries are very, very painful," says Dailey. "And when a bone isn't healing properly, patients can be in pain for weeks or months."

Ideally, she says, surgeons would re-operate early on a patient with a nonunion. But differentiating between a true nonunion -- where no new bone is forming at all -- and a bone that is healing -- just very slowly -- is difficult. And that difference is critical. If it's the former, a second surgery is imperative. If it's the latter, it may be better for the patient to wait and avoid the risk and expense of another operation.

Pinpointing that crucial difference between who needs additional surgery and who does not is difficult because surgeons typically rely on X-rays to determine the extent of bone healing. X-rays, however, are two-dimensional, often fuzzy, and can reveal an incomplete picture.

"Our approach was, 'Can we measure healing in a structural way, and put a number on how healed a bone is?'" says Dailey. "Instead of using X-rays to determine, 'Yes, healed,' or 'No, not healed,' can we be more accurate? By using engineering tools, the answer was, yes. We could."

In this study, adults with tibial shaft fractures were prospectively recruited for observation following standard reamed intramedullary nailing, a procedure in which a titanium rod is inserted in the hollow space of the tibia and secured at the top and bottom with screws. The screws allow the patient to bear weight soon after surgery by keeping the upper bone fragment from collapsing onto the lower bone fragment.

Patient follow-up included radiographs and completion of patient-reported outcome measures, all performed at 6, 12, 18, and 24 weeks post-surgery. Low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans were done at 12 weeks. These scans provided a detailed, three-dimensional picture of what was going on inside each patient.

Using specialized, commercially available software on the scans, Dailey's PhD student and study co-author, Peter Schwarzenberg, built 3-D mechanical structural models that identified the regions of bone and new bone, or callus. Schwarzenberg then ran the models through finite element analysis software -- the same program used by civil engineers to simulate how much deformation happens to a bridge when a load (like cars or pedestrians) is applied to it. Schwarzenberg and Dailey wanted to do the same thing for bones -- apply a force and see how much the bone flexed. The less it flexed, the more healed it was.

Schwarzenberg used the finite element software to divide each bone model into tiny zones called tetrahedra that all have a mathematical relationship to each other. He and Dailey then simulated fixing the bottom of the bone so it couldn't move and putting a load on the top of the bone in the form of a one-degree rotational twist. The technique is called a virtual torsion test.

"So we know what's happening to the tetrahedra at the edges of the bone," says Schwarzenberg. "But finite element analysis allows you to calculate what is happening at the neighbors of those tetrahedra and then the neighbors of those tetrahedra, and it calculates all the way through until you've evaluated every piece inside the bone."

Those calculations revealed how much the bone flexed when it was twisted.

"You want to do one test you can apply to everybody, and a twist is a standard one," says Dailey. "It comes from the history of animal experimentation. We had a pretty good idea about what happens in the bones of animals at 12 weeks, but before we did this, nobody knew how much structural healing has taken place in humans at 12 weeks."

The pair then used the CT scans to digitally re-create a healthy version of each person's leg. Schwarzenberg performed the same virtual torsion test on that healthy model then measured the flex of the unbroken leg against the fractured leg. The resulting percentage helped them determine how stiff the broken bone was compared with the healthy bone. The stiffer a bone was early in the healing process, the quicker the patient could bear weight.

Schwarzenberg and Dailey found that their results from the virtual mechanical test significantly correlated with how long it took each patient to heal. It also clearly identified the single instance of a nonunion.

Dailey says the goal is to produce a diagnostic test that can help surgeons determine if an additional operation is necessary. It could also potentially help doctors determine when it's safe for patients to bear weight, and it could help measure the effectiveness of devices like bone growth stimulators that might be alternatives to surgery in some nonunion cases.

Dailey and her team acknowledge one flaw in their experimental design: how they're currently characterizing the callus.

"There's a lot of data for the mechanical properties of bone," says Schwarzenberg. "It's impossible to get cadaver bones with callus because callus disappears when a broken bone is fully healed. Bone is this organized, hard structure, and callus is almost like cartilage. It remodels into bone, but at the time points we're looking at, we don't expect the callus to have the same underlying structure as bone. We think we're making it too strong because we're using a model that was developed from bone."

Schwarzenberg is currently trying to fill that knowledge gap at the Tib fib surgery Research Unit at the University of Zurich, as part of the International Education's Graduate International Research Experiences program (IIE-GIRE). During his six-month fellowship, he is combining the virtual technique with an optimization algorithm to measure the mechanical properties of callus.

To be able to answer the question of whether a bone is healing and when it may be capable of bearing weight is revolutionary, says Dailey.

"These advanced modeling and simulation techniques are providing the opportunity to answer fundamental questions like, 'What are the mechanical properties of newly formed bone?' Questions that, believe it or not, haven't been addressed before. Because it's not like you can take a person, cut out a uniform piece of material, then put it in a machine and test it," she says. "That's impossible. But now we can do that in a virtual way."

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Story Source:

Materials provided by Lehigh University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Hannah Tib fib surgery. Dailey, Peter Schwarzenberg, Charles J. Daly, Sinéad A.M. Boran, Michael M. Maher, James A. Harty. Virtual Mechanical Testing Based on Low-Dose Computed Tomography Scans for Tibial Fracture. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 2019; 101 (13): 1193 DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.18.01139

Cite This Page:

Lehigh University. "Knowing when patients with tibial fractures can bear weight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2019. <>.

Lehigh University. (2019, September 10). Knowing when patients with tibial fractures can bear weight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 4, 2021 from

Lehigh University. "Knowing when patients with tibial fractures can bear weight." ScienceDaily. (accessed December 4, 2021).


3 Common Types of Fibula Fractures

A fibula fracture occurs when there is an injury to the smaller of the two bones of the lower leg (the segment between the knee and ankle), the fibula.

The larger bone of the lower leg, the tibia, carries most of the body weight. The smaller bone, the fibula, is located on the outside of the leg.

The Fibula

The fibular bone starts just below the knee joint on the outside of the leg and extends all the way down to the ankle joint. The bone is a long, thin bone.

While the bone does little to support the weight of the body, it is a critical site of attachment for ligaments at both the knee and the ankle joint and is also connected to the tibia bone by a thick ligament called the syndesmosis.

While the fibula is an important bone, it is possible to excise some of the bone for surgical procedures where bone is needed elsewhere in the body. When these grafting procedures are performed, people are able to function very normally, despite missing a large part of the fibula bone.

Types of Fibula Fractures

There are a number of different types of injury to the fibula bone:

  • Fibula fractures that result from injury to the ankle joint
  • Fibula fractures that occur in conjunction with tibia fractures
  • Stress fractures of the fibula

These are not the only types of injury that can occur to the fibula but account for the vast majority of injury to the fibula bone. By far the most common are injuries that occur when the ankle joint is damaged. Typically, the ankle buckles or is twisted and the fibula is damaged as part of the injury.


As mentioned, fibula fractures can occur in association with injuries to other bones, ligaments, and tendons around the knee and ankle.

The most common symptoms associated with the fibula fracture include:

  • Pain directly over the fibula bone (outside of the leg)
  • Swelling in the area of the fracture
  • Bruising over the site of the injury

Diagnosis of a fibular fracture can typically be made with an X-ray image. Other imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scan are typically not necessary, but there are some situations where a fibular fracture may not show up on a regular X-ray.

These situations include injuries such as stress fractures (described below). Your healthcare provider will examine the site of the injury, and also examine the knee and the ankle joints for associated injuries which may impact the treatment of the fibular fracture.

Signs You Might Have a Fracture and What to Do

Ankle Injuries

Fibula fractures typically occur as part of an ankle injury. Whenever a fibula fracture is found, the ankle joint should also be examined for possible injury.

The most common type of fracture to occur to the fibula bone is an isolated injury to the end of the fibula bone at the level of the ankle joint. These injuries occur in a similar manner to a badly sprained ankle. Often the injury can be treated similarly to a badly sprained ankle.

Ankle-Level Fibula Fracture Without Other Ankle Injury

Isolated fibular fractures, when the tib fib surgery joint is unaffected, often can be treated with simple protection. Known as a lateral malleolus fracture, these injuries occur when the ankle twists or bends awkwardly and the inner (medial) side of the ankle is unaffected.

In these situations, a brace is sufficient to support the ankle. Crutches are often used for a few days or weeks to allow swelling and pain to subside. Once the pain has lessened, patients begin rehabilitation to resume mobility exercises, strengthening, and walking.

Fibula Fracture With Associated Ankle Injury

Fibula fractures that are associated with injury to the inner side of the ankle, the medial malleolus, or deltoid ligament, often require more aggressive treatment.

In these situations, called bimalleolar ankle fractures, surgery is usually necessary to stabilize the ankle joint. Without surgery, the ankle joint often heals in abnormal alignment, leading to the development of ankle arthritis.

Another type of injury that can occur with a fibular fracture is damage to the syndesmosis of the ankle. The syndesmosis is the group of ligaments that hold the two bones of the leg together, just above the ankle joint.

When the syndesmosis is damaged at the ankle, an injury that can occur along with a fibula fracture, surgery is often required to restore the alignment of the bones.

Fibular fractures with ankle injuries will usually require surgery to correct.

Fibula and Tibial Shaft Fractures

Severe injuries resulting from car crashes, sports injuries, or falls may lead to an injury of both the tibia and the fibula above the ankle joint. These injuries, often referred to as "tib-fib" fractures, typically require surgery to support the alignment of the leg.

When the tibia is surgically repaired, the fibula does not normally require a separate surgery to align this bone. In some tib-fib fractures, a long-leg cast (thigh to foot) will provide necessary support without requiring the surgery.

Stress Fractures of the Fibula

In some people, particularly long-distance runners or hikers, the fibula may be injured as a result of repetitive stress. This type of injury is known as a stress fracture. The pain of a stress fracture may begin gradually. Usually, the pain worsens with increasing levels of activity and is relieved by rest.

Stress Fracture: Causes, Treatment, Prevention


How a fibula fracture is treated depends on a number of factors, including where the fracture is located and if other injuries have occurred in association with the fracture.

Surgery may be recommended, but usually a splint or cast is given to help prevent movement and allow the bone to heal. If possible, your healthcare provider can realign your broken bones without open surgery as well.

While isolated fibula fractures usually heal quickly, some may involve more complex injuries that require further treatment. That's why it's critical for a medical professional familiar with the treatment of fibula fractures to evaluate your injury and ensure that appropriate treatment is recommended.

Because only a small amount of body weight is transmitted through the fibula (most weight is transmitted through the larger tibia bone) many types of fibula fractures can be tib fib surgery nonsurgically. However, as described, fibula fractures that occur in association with other fractures or ligament injuries often do require more invasive treatment.

How Does It Feel When a Broken Bone is Healing?

Surgery on the Fibula

The most common way to repair a fractured fibula bone is with a metal plate and screws. Typically a plate is applied to the outside of the bone, with several screws above the location of the fracture, and several screws below. Sometimes other techniques are used when repairing a fracture of the fibula, depending on its type and location.

When reviewing an operative report from the time of surgery, your surgeon will dictate the method in which they repaired the broken fibula, as well as any other treatment needed. The diagnosis of a fibula fracture is recorded as ICD-10 code S82. Any modifying codes can designate fracture side, mechanism, and other characteristics.


Common complications associated with surgery for treatment of a fibula fracture can be related to the incision and the underlying hardware. Because there is very little soft tissue between the skin and the bone, problems related to wound healing, infection, and painful hardware are common surgical complications.

Wound healing complications are most worrisome in people who have underlying conditions such as diabetes which may inhibit wound healing. Smokers are also at increased risk of wound complications.

Infection can occur after any surgical procedure, but is most common in people who have conditions that may impair immune defenses.

Lastly, pain associated with implanted hardware is not uncommon. Some people may choose to have surgical plates and screws removed after the fracture has healed.

Other types of complications, including slow healing and development of arthritis, are also possible depending on your type of injury.

Can Cigarettes Affect Your Bones?

A Word From Verywell

Have an open conversation with your healthcare provider about the best solution for your fracture. You may be nervous if more invasive treatments are required. Ask if they're truly the best option and confirm that alternatives would not be helpful. Remember that ultimately, the procedure is meant to heal your injured fibula.

Once healed, make sure to ask your healthcare provider for prevention and safety tips to reduce your risk of further injury, particularly if your injury resulted from an activity. It may be frustrating to wait until you're better to continue doing what you love, but it's well worth it.

In general, you can reduce your risk of a fibula fracture by working to maintain your bone mass. Some factors such as age and gender are out of your control, but others tib fib surgery as quitting smoking and practicing sports safety can help.

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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Mukherjee AN, Pal AK, Singharoy D, Baksi D, Nath C. Harvesting the free fibular graft: A modified approach. Indian J Orthop. 2011;45(1):53-6. doi:10.4103/0019-5413.73657

  2. Kortekangas T, Haapasalo H, Flinkkilä T, et al. Three week versus six week immobilisation for stable Weber B type ankle fractures: randomised, multicentre, non-inferiority clinical trial. BMJ. 2019;364:k5432. doi:10.1136/bmj.k5432

  3. Goost H, Wimmer MD, Barg A, Kabir K, Valderrabano V, Burger C. Fractures of the ankle joint: investigation and treatment options. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2014;111(21):377-88.  doi:10.3238/arztebl.2014.0377

  4. Gupton M, Kang M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Fibula. StatPearls Publishing. December 2018.

  5. Amaha K, Arimoto T, Saito M, Tasaki A, Tsuji S. Shorter recovery can be achieved from using walking boot after operative treatment of an ankle fracture. Asia Pac J Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Technol. 2017;7:10-14. doi:10.1016/j.asmart.2016.09.001

  6. Feigenbaum LA, Baraga M, Kaplan LD, et al. Return to Sport Following Surgery for a Complicated Tibia and Fibula Fracture in a Collegiate Women's Soccer Player with a Low Level of Kinesiophobia. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2015;10(1):95-103.

  7. Harrast MA, Colonno D. Stress fractures in runners. Clin Sports Med. 2010;29(3):399-416. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2010.03.001

  8. Hsu H, Nallamothu S. Ankle Splinting.StatPearls Publishing. January 2019.

  9. Mehta SS, Rees K, Cutler L, Mangwani J. Understanding risks and complications in the management of ankle fractures. Indian J Orthop. 2014;48(5):445-52.  doi:10.4103/0019-5413.139829

Additional Reading
  • Anderson RB, Hunt KJ, McCormick JJ. "Management of common sports-related injuries about the foot and ankle." J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2010 Sep;18(9):546-56.
  • Fields, KB. Fibular Fractures. In: UpToDate, Grayzel, J(Ed). UpToDate. 2017.
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