Tibia Fracture Treatment in Lafayette, LA, Can Get You Up and Running Again
A tibia fracture is a crack or break in the shinbone. As the second-largest bone in the body, the tibia is very strong, but excessive force applied to the front of the lower leg may cause the shinbone to fracture. This type of injury can occur through a fall, car accident, or collision during a contact sport. Additionally, a bone-weakening condition such as osteoporosis can make all bones – including the tibia – more susceptible to fractures.
What are the symptoms of a broken shinbone?
In addition to intense pain in the lower leg, a tibia fracture may cause:
- An inability to move or bear weight on the leg
- An obvious leg deformity, such as a bend at an awkward angle
A tibia fracture requires prompt medical attention in order to ensure proper healing. If you’re in the Lafayette, Louisiana, area and think you might have a broken shinbone, you can consult with Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist. Dr. Vizzi will ask about your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and possibly order an imaging study (X-rays can be performed on site at his office) to diagnose your injury. After confirming your diagnosis, Dr. Vizzi will discuss your treatment options.
How is a tibia fracture treated?
Some treatment options for a broken shinbone include:
- Immobilization – A splint, brace, or cast can be used to stabilize the leg and keep the broken bone in place as it mends.
- Medication – Pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can improve comfort during the rehabilitation period.
- Traction – To keep the leg straight as it heals, traction may be applied shortly after the fracture occurs.
- Physical therapy – As healing progresses and comfort permits, stretches and exercises can be performed to enhance the flexibility and strength of the leg muscles.
- Surgery – To address an open or very severe tibia fracture, surgical repair may be discussed. The optimal approach can vary depending on the site of the break, the extent of the damage, and whether other leg injuries are present. For instance, a surgeon may perform an internal fixation procedure to place pins, plates, or screws to help keep the broken bone in proper alignment as it heals.
It’s important to closely follow a physician’s instructions with regard to weight bearing following a tibia fracture. Putting excessive weight on the shinbone before it fully heals – even if it doesn’t feel painful – can delay recovery or cause further damage.
If you would like to discuss a possible tibia fracture with Dr. Vizzi, contact his office to schedule a consultation in Lafayette, LA, today.