I've cracked the head of my fibula. Any advice or experience?

I am seeking full medical attention and am not looking for medical advice here in lieu of taking care of myself properly. I saw a basic doctor yesterday and will see orthopedics on Monday or Tuesday. I just want advice/experience.

I am a teacher and played in our annual Staff vs. Kids basketball game. During the game, I landed weird or stepped weird. As amazingly odd as that sounds, I cracked the head of my fibula on the right leg. It’s quite rare to happen this way, I guess.

The school’s own insurance is paying my cost since it was workplace related. I have to see their insurance’s doctors in order to avoid paying a dime of my own money or using any of my own insurance. Because of this, I am now waiting for Orthopedic offices to be open Monday. Anyway, I am on complete “sit down” or “lay down” orders all weekend.

Anyone ever have this kind of injury? I’ve never cracked or broken a bone at all. The head of the fibula is cracked(not sure how far it descends down the shaft). Anyone know what orthopedics might tell me on Mon/Tues? I’m curious if I get a cast or if they may need to do more extensive work. I can put mild weight on it, but it hurts and I am avoiding it at all costs.

The doctor told me no pain medication can help. I have a throbbing pain on the point of the crack. Would tylenol, naproxum sodium, or any other medication help or is the doc right?

Happy Easter. Ha ha. I am off work all next week, thankfully. Coincidence and blessing.

So sorry about this. Bone pain is real pain.

I have cracked my radius straight through and “bruised” a kneecap, which apparently means microfractures across the surface. In both cases OTC painkillers most definitely did help. With the kneecap, I was told that physical therapy could bring me back to normal faster, though I would get back to normal eventually whether I did it or not.

In both cases recovery was a slow, gradual thing, which is no surprise. In the case of my broken arm, I couldn’t move my fingers at the beginning. They came back one by one in the three months after the break. I don’t know if this is because it was too painful to move the muscles around the bone (seems unlikely, because I still couldn’t move the last three when the cast came off) or if nerve damage was involved.

My WAG is that since you can walk, your bone is stable, and you won’t get a cast. But that’s just a WAG.

Sorry I can’t offer any more advice.

Yeah, I can put 20% of my weight on it with minimal pain. It is more of a crack at the head of the bone instead of a clean break through the bone. It’s mainly annoying that I can’t see orthopedics until Monday at the earliest. I don’t want to widen the crack at all.

My knee is actually quite swollen, though not as much as I have seen in a knee injury.

Definitely Boredom vs. Pain this weekend. I’m bored and in pain. Not sure which will drive me nuttier. Just kidding, it’s the pain.

Not sure why the doctor would tell you no pain medicine would help. That is just not true.
Try some ibuprofen. What country are you in?

Also rest, ice, and elevation will help with both the pain and swelling.

I would not put any weight on it at all. Bones heal well, but cartilage doesn’t. I would think messing up the cartilage will be the worst thing since it takes a very long time to heal and even then it’s not 100%. I would recommend being super extra careful so that you don’t cause any damage to the cartilage.

I broke the head off my radius. Similar injury but in the arm instead of leg. It was a clean break but not displaced so it didn’t need to be set. It couldn’t be casted because it would have fused together with my ulna and humerus and my elbow wouldn’t bend anymore. I was given exercises to preserve range of motion and had several follow up appointments and it healed fine. It hurt like hell when I first did it and I think I got acetaminophen or ibuprofen but after a while it only hurt if I was over using it.


Now that I have to wait until Monday(or Tuesday), I asked him this morning for a 3-4 day supply of something stronger. Like, a narcotic or some other kind of pain killer. He said it wouldn’t help. He did write a prescription for Tylenol 3, which is just Tyelenol barely coated in codeine.

Would Vicodin or some other big pain killer not have helped? I get it. He is afraid I’ll put weight on it. I won’t, but I want some major relief, even if it is only in evenings or something.

I can’t comment on the actual injury, but I am someone who has been in a walking boot for 6 weeks for a really really really bad sprained ankle…

My first three weeks were non-weight bearing as much as possible. I have wood floors, and grabbed an old rolling office chair out of storage. Rolled myself around most of the time. It’s easier to go backwards than forwards.

Ask at your first appointment if getting a temporary disabled parking permit is appropriate.
I wouldn’t be able to do many things, including my regular grocery shopping, without mine. I look forward to not needing it, but they exist for a reason.

There are plastic “cast protectors” for showers. If you do get put in a cast or otherwise wrapped in something that can’t get wet, check your local pharmacy. It’s basically a plastic sleeve with a rubber gasket at the end, to seal around your leg. So much easier than trying to tie a plastic bag.
Good luck, and hope you heal faster than I am!

That’s BS. I shattered my tibia and fibula some years back. NSAIDs won’t touch it. I can’t fathom why they wouldn’t give you something stronger for a fracture. The only thing that worked for me in the beginning after surgery was Dilaudid. My fracture may have been crazier than yours (required surgery with plates and screws, etc.), but seriously? Telling you that no opiate painkiller will help?

The no painkiller thing is BS. Having broken my ankle in June I can attest to that. That sort of rhetoric may be what you have to deal with if you’re using Worker’s Comp doctors BUT hopefully not once you get to the orthopedic specialist. Generally they are better.

Are you able to go to urgent care or the ER and explain the situation? I think either one would give you a small supply of painkillers to get you through. You also need to get crutches somewhere quickly.

I was issued crutches and a leg brace.

I spoke to him yesterday again and the doctor did prescribe Tylenol laced with Codeine. The codeine is so minimal, I doubt it makes much difference.

Here is the weird thing. It feels significantly better today. Far from cured, but a lot less painful.

Now, I can’t even tell if I fully fractured the fibula head or not. Honestly, I want to know why I have such bad bone pain like this. Three years ago, I did this to the left leg and I dont’ think I was every properly diagnosed.

I can not squat, and have not been able to squat, for years without having terrible pain. It isn’t my knees or tendons. I get terrible pain in the upper most part of my leg bones(the ones below the knee). I am not a massive athlete and did not run too much growing up. However, I suspect a series of hairline fractures in my legs.

I don’t know if fractures can “act up”, but this feels like it. I still need a cane and will for a couple weeks, but it doesn’t feel like a full fracture of the head of the bone.

I’m confused.

Glad you’re feeling better. Sometimes you can access the radiology report or even the x-ray itself through a patient portal aligned with the physicians office.

Several types of fractures are possible. The degree of displacement (if any) will determine what the orthopedic Dr. recommends. Just a guess…but if your PCP sent you home with a brace ( I’m assuming a knee brace where the brace prevents you from bending your knee) you have a non-displaced or stress type fx. Did the doc tell you to be completely non-weight bearing?


When I sprained my ankle, I assumed I’d do a few days of RICE, baby it for a week or two, and be fine. The accident was on a Sunday. By Monday, I was MUCH better. Swelling was down noticeably, and I have about 75% range of motion back. But my sister convinced me to get it checked out, because she had a similar injury. She waited two weeks, and it stopped improving. Ended up needing surgery - not because she waited, but because the injury was that bad.

In my case, I’m in my 6th week of a walking boot to protect the soft tissues as it heals. The fact that I was getting better a bit after one day doesn’t change the fact that the proper treatment involved immobilizing the joint, so the tendons heal in a tight formation.

I hope your doctors overreacted…but wait it out and see what the specialists say.

Definitely listen to him, then. That means no limping to the bathroom, etc. Use the crutches.

I have a proper orthopedic appointment tomorrow. I guess we’ll see what the deal is. Hurts like crazy, mainly when I bend wrong or press on it.

For anyone who cares:

Saw orthopedic. Yep, cracked the fibular head, but nothing that won’t heal over 3 weeks time. LCL avulsion as well, also a 3-4 week heal.

I just use a can for a month or so and I should be all set. No idea why I am prone to this kind of injury.