Tibial Fracture Complications

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Tibial Fracture Complications

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. A broken leg is a fairly common bone fracture. Because the limb is exposed, it is at risk for injury. Whether someone falls out of a tree, plants their leg incorrectly playing sports, or gets injured in an auto accident, there is always a risk for injury. One of the bones in the leg that is commonly broken is called the tibia. The tibia is one of the two bones that makes up the lower leg, the other bone being the fibula. While most broken legs heal completely without any issues, there are a few complications of a tibial fracture that people should be aware of.

Proper Diagnosis of a Tibia Fracture is Important

Before any complications can be identified, the tibia fracture must be identified first. There are numerous types of tibia fractures, ranging from greenstick fractures and spiral fractures to hairline fractures or even open fractures. The physician will employ an x-ray to quickly take an image of the bone; however, if there are suspicions for complications, the physician could also order a CT scan or an MRI to get a better look at the tibia and the surrounding structures. There are other bones, blood vessels, and nerves that could potentially be injured along with a tibia fracture.

The Fibula is at Risk with a Tibia Fracture

The most common injury people sustain with a tibial fracture is a fibular fracture. The fibula is a thin bone that pairs with the tibia to complete the lower leg. Because the fibula is a thin bone, it is prone to damage with any force that fractures the tibia. The two bones work in concert to coordinate leg movements. Because the fibula is right next to the tibia, it can be broken along with the tibia. Physicians will call this a “tib-fib” fracture as an abbreviation. The two bones are commonly broken together in pediatric tibia and fibula fracture cases.

Patients can Develop Complications from a Tibial Fracture

If a tibial fracture happens as a result of a serious accident, there are a couple of complications that can arise. The first complication that patients need to be aware of is the risk of bleeding. There are major arteries that run down the lower leg, such as the popliteal artery, that can be severed during a severe break. This can lead to significant blood loss. In addition, an open bone can cause something called a fat embolism. There is a significant amount of fat that resides in the bone marrow. If the bone is broken, this marrow is exposed and can leak into the bloodstream. This is a serious risk in cases of multiple musculoskeletal trauma.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. If you have suffered a broken tibia, please call me at (916) 921-6400 for fast, free and friendly advice. Or, call me toll free at (800) 404-5400 when calling long distance.

I am a part of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image

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