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Fractured my Fibula playing hockey - When can I bare weight


I fractured my fibula bone playing hockey 4 weeks ago today. I have been in an knee high aircast and walking with crutches for those 4 weeks. The doctor will not allow me to put any weight on my left leg yet. I have my next appointment with him this friday and I am hoping that he will let me start to put weight on it.

What is the normal amount of time I should wait to start baring weight on my fractured leg? I have tried a little with my cructhes and I feel as though I can bare some weight with it.

Also, what is the recovery time for fractured fibulas? The doctor told me 4-6 weeks but when he filled out the paper work for my work it said 8-10 weeks?

How long do you think it will be before I can play hockey again? I also have an active job at work, right now I am doing modified duties so wondering how long it will be before I feel ok enough to get back to my usual routine.

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First Helper jenik12

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replied February 26th, 2013
Especially eHealthy

Sorry about your accident.

As to when you can bear weight actually depends upon where the fibula was fractured and your symptoms.

In midshaft fibula fractures, it is usually just left up to the patient as to when he/she wants to bear weight. Since the fibula is not a weight bearing bone, in midshaft fractures, there is not a problem with early weight bearing. But, the patient usually has some tenderness in the muscles around the fracture, because the muscles tissue has been torn in the injury. So, it may be tender when the patient tries to use the muscles and bear weight at first.

However, if the fibula fracture is distal, around the ankle, that is a different problem. If this is a distal fibular fracture, or what is called a lateral malleoulus fracture, then weight bearing has to be delayed. The lateral malleolus is the "outer ankle bone". So, to prevent the bone from shifting and causing the joint to shift out of place, weight bearing is delayed till there is healing of the bone.

Usually, if the lateral malleolus fracture is displaced, surgery is needed. So, since you did not have surgery, you either have a nondisplaced lateral malleolus fracture or a midshaft fracture. One you can weight bear on immediately, the other you have to wait till there is healing of the bone.

Usually, a fibular fracture will heal in about 6-8 weeks. But, that is just union of the bone. All of the soft tissues have to heal, and you have to rehab. Since you are not using your muscles right now, they are undergoing atrophy (loss of muscle mass). You will have to rebuild your muscle and regain your ankle range of motion. So, if you are not allowed to start rehab until 6-8 weeks after the injury, you may not get back to "playing condition" for another 6-8 weeks.

We usually tell the athletes, for every one day they are out of practice, it takes two days to get back to the starting line up. It takes a lot more time to get into playing condition, than it does to get out of condition. If you can work hard in rehab, you might get back a little sooner.

Discuss your condition with your orthopedic surgeon at your next appointment. See if your fracture is healed enough to start weight bearing.

Good luck.
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replied February 28th, 2013
Thank you very much Gaelic. The information you gave me is quite helpful.

Much Appreciated!

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