Lower leg fractures include fractures of the tibia and fibula. Of these two bones, the tibia is the only weightbearing bone. Fractures of the tibia generally are associated with fibula fracture, because the force is transmitted along the interosseous membrane to the fibula.
The skin and subcutaneous tissue are very thin over the anterior and medial tibia and as a result of this, a significant number of fractures to the lower leg are open. Even in closed fractures, the thin, soft tissue can become compromised. In contrast, the fibula is well covered by soft tissue over most of its course with the exception of the lateral malleolus.
Synonyms and related keywords: lower leg fracture, broken leg, long bone fracture, popliteal artery injury, compartment syndrome, gangrene, osteomyelitis, injury to the peroneal nerve, foot drop, delayed union, fracture nonunion, arthritis, toddler fracture, distal spiral fracture of tibia
Norvell & Steele 2008