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(Broken Shin; Lower Leg Break; Tibia Fracture)
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- Gunshot wounds
- Advancing age
- Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles, or post- menopause
- Certain diseases and conditions that weaken bones, such as tumors or cysts
- Decreased muscle mass
Playing certain sports that may result in:
- Spiral fractures—associated with collisions or falls from sports such as soccer or skiing
- Stress fractures—associated with overuse or repetitive motion from sports such as gymnastics or dance
- Violence, such as car or car-pedestrian accidents
- Pain that ranges from mild to severe, but worsens with activity
- Swelling, inflammation, and tenderness
- Bruising in the injured area
- Decreased range of motion of the knee or ankle
- Inability to bear weight on the fractured leg
- Without surgery—you will have anesthesia to decrease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
- With surgery—pins, screws, plates, or a rod may be needed to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place
Rest and Recovery
- Do weight-bearing and strengthening exercises regularly to build strong bones.
- Wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports or activities.
- Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the bone.
- Clean spills and slippery areas right away
- Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub
- Put in handrails on both sides of stairways
- Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls
- Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
American Physical Therapy Association http://www.orthopt.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Fractures of the proximal tibia (shinbone). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00393 . Updated July 2013. Accessed September 10, 2013.
Giannoudis PV, Papakostidis C, et al. A review of the management of open fractures of the tibia and femur. J Bone & Joint Surg (British Vol). 2006;88:281-289.
Tibia (shinbone) shaft fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00522 . Updated March 2010. Accessed September 10, 2013.
Tibial plateau fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated November 15, 2011. Accessed September 10, 2013.
Tibial stress fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated November 11, 2012. Accessed September 10, 2013.
What are ways to prevent falls and related fractures? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Bone/Osteoporosis/Fracture/prevent%5Ffalls%5Fff.asp . Updated January 2011. Accessed September 10, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013