Tibial Fracture, Ankle, Adult, Undisplaced

ExitCare ImageYou have a fracture (break in bone) of your tibia in the lower part of the bone that makes up part of your ankle. The tibia is the large "shin" bone in your lower leg. This is the large bump you feel at your ankle on the inside of your leg. These fractures are easily diagnosed with X-rays.

TREATMENT

You have a simple fracture that usually will heal without disability and can be treated with simple immobilization. This means the bone can be held with a short-leg cast or splint in a favorable position until your caregiver feels it is stable enough (healed well) that you can begin range of motion exercises of your ankle. This will help to keep you limber (moving well). A short-leg cast is one that is in place from your toes to below your knee.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Apply ice to the injury for 15-20 minutes, 03-04 times per day while awake, for 2 days. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a thin towel between the bag of ice and your cast.

  • If you have a plaster or fiberglass cast :

  • Do not try to scratch the skin under the cast using sharp or pointed objects.

  • Check the skin around the cast every day. You may put lotion on any red or sore areas.

  • Keep your cast dry and clean.

  • If you have a plaster splint :

  • Wear the splint as directed.

  • You may loosen the elastic around the splint if your toes become numb, tingle, or turn cold or blue.

  • Do not put pressure on any part of your cast or splint until it is fully hardened.

  • Your cast or splint can be protected during bathing with a plastic bag. Do not lower the cast or splint into water.

  • Use crutches as directed. This is not a fracture to be taken lightly! If this bone becomes displaced and gets out of position it may eventually cause arthritis and disability for the rest of your life. Problems can follow even the best of care. Follow the directions of your caregiver.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Pain is becoming worse rather than better, or if pain is uncontrolled with medications.

  • You have increased swelling or redness in the foot.

  • You begin to lose feeling in your foot or toes.

  • You develop a cold or blue foot or toes on the injured side.

  • You develop severe pain in your injured leg.