Treatment of a Tibial Shaft Fracture

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June 10, 2019
Edward Smith

Treatment of a Tibial Shaft Fracture

The treatment of a fracture of the tibial shaft is essential because, if not treated correctly, serious complications could develop. The tibia is the lower bone of the leg. A tibial shaft fracture takes place in the long part of the bone. The shaft of the tibia is only one of several parts of the tibia. Together with the fibula, the tibia makes up the lower leg. It attaches to the knee at the top end and the ankle at the bottom end. Some of the essential parts of the tibia include:

  • Medial Condyle: The medial condyle is a prominence on the inside of the top of the tibia.
  • Lateral Condyle: The lateral condyle is a prominence on the outside of the top of the tibia.
  • Tibial Tuberosity: The tibial tuberosity is located on the front of the tibia towards the top. The patella tendon attaches to the tibia at this location.
  • Fibular Notch: The fibular notch is located at the bottom of the tibia and represents the location where the tibia and fibula join together.

If someone suffers a fracture of the tibial shaft, this needs to be treated as quickly as possible. This is done to prevent severe complications from developing that might impair someone’s mobility down the road.

Treatment of a Fracture of the Tibial Shaft: Surgery or Not?

Like other bone fractures, some fractures of the tibia will require surgery. Others might be fine with a cast alone. The biggest question is whether or not the fracture has been displaced from its usual anatomical location. This question is typically answered using medical imaging scans. Some of these include:

  • An ultrasound scan
  • An x-ray image
  • A CT scan
  • An MRI

An x-ray is typically the first-line option because it is inexpensive, fast, and requires little radiation. If the fracture has been displaced, a trained orthopedic surgeon may try to reduce the fracture (or place the fragments back in their proper location) without surgery. This is done using sedation to avoid severe pain.

In some cases, surgery might be required. In this surgical procedure, a trained orthopedic surgeon will:

  • Open up the leg to reveal the bone fracture
  • Return the fragments to the right location
  • Repair any other associated injuries, such as a potential fibula fracture
  • Use screws and plates to hold the pieces in place
  • Close the leg with surgical sutures

Once the fracture has been repaired, a cast is applied to immobilize the leg. This will prevent the bones from moving out of place while they heal. After several weeks, the cast will be removed, and the bone should be healed. Unfortunately, serious complications could develop.

Watch YouTube Video: BoneTalks – Broken Leg (tibial shaft fracture). This video will quickly show you what exactly a broken tibia is, how it is diagnosed, and what treatment options are available.

Potential Complications of a Tibial Fracture

Several complications might occur following a fracture of the tibial shaft. Some of the most severe include:

  • Malunion: This happens when the bones do not heal properly. To fix malunion, the bone must be rebroken and then put back together.
  • Infection: An infection of the tibia can develop if the fracture breaks the surface of the skin, providing a portal for infection.
  • Mobility Issues: Long-term mobility issues could occur if the fracture also damages some of the cartilaginous cushions. Early-onset arthritis could develop.
  • Range of Motion: Following a severe fracture, the leg might feel stiff. This happens due to muscle degradation during the weeks without the use of the leg.

Calling a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

A tibial shaft fracture is a serious injury that requires the attention of a trained medical professional. Once this is done, it is also a good idea to speak with an injury lawyer in Stockton. A licensed legal adviser can help families take a look at all of their options, help them pursue damages, and get their recovery headed in the proper direction. Do not be nervous about asking for help because everyone needs assistance during a stressful time. Reach out to a Stockton personal injury lawyer to learn more. You might be owed a significant monetary award.

Stockton Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton Personal Injury Lawyer. A tibial shaft fracture is a serious leg injury and might lead to long-term complications if not treated appropriately. Should you or someone you know be diagnosed with a broken tibia, please reach out to me using (800) 404-5400 or (209) 227-1931 to receive free and friendly legal guidance and advice.

I’m proud to be a lawyer in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum & the Top One Percent, which is a National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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Image Citation: The picture used at the top of this post was found originally on Deposit Photos and has been reproduced here with permission.

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