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 Tib/fib fracture - malunion of fibula
Hannah L    1:20pm Dec 5 2019

On 19/12/19 I had a fall off my young horse who was bucking while training him. While riding him through it, my left foot got caught in the stirrup as I obviously didnít keep my heels down enough. I was worried that if I were to fall I would be dragged. The result - I would have been trampled. I decided the best option was to reach down and try and get it out and try and stay on while doing so. This meant dropping the reins which can be the worst thing to do on a bucking horse as it gives them their head free to buck even more. Good news, I got my foot free from the stirrup. Bad news, I lost my balance in the process and fell off. I have had some pretty serious falls over the years while jumping and have always come out fine - the key is to never land on your feet or hands! And thatís exactly what happened.

I landed on my left leg and felt my ankle twist and heard the loud pop. The pain was instant. I had my long riding boots on so I couldnít see it. I initially thought it was just a sprain or something like that. My friend rushed over to me and asked me to try and move it but it the pain was unreal and I felt sick. The ambulance arrived and they tried to unzip and pull off my boot. It was too painful so they cut it ($1,200 to replace! Was not happy!). Sure enough it was a compound break. Off to the hospital I went.

I had a compound fracture of my tibia and a fibula fracture. Both were about a third length up from the ankle. The fibula slightly higher. The next morning I had an Intramedullary rod (IM nail) and three screws put in my tibia. The fibula was realigned. I had no cast - just a moonboot (I think they call this an air boot in America? We call it a moon boot in New Zealand). I was non weight bearing (NWB) for 6 weeks until my next appointment and was on almost complete rest with leg elevated at home. Was released out of hospital after 10 days.

3 weeks after surgery I tripped at home and put a lot of weight through my broken leg. It clicked and was really painful. I went back to hospital and had xrays. I had rebroken my fibula that had already started to heal well. Luckily my tibia was unharmed. They said it would start to shift together.

3/12/19 - 6 weeks this week - I had my follow up appointment and xrays. My tibia is healing well but the fibula is still not touching. The side on X-ray shows that it isnít lined up length ways. And there is a gap in the front on X-ray between the two broken ends.

The surgeon and doctor both think that this isnít a problem and that it will heal well. But may heal slightly bowed/crooked. Iím really concerned about this. I am extremely active and play sports and ride. Iím worried that there may be long term effects of this. Has anyone else that this? I donít mind if it heals slightly thickened as you canít cosmetically see it over my muscle around the bone but Iím more concerned at it being a problem area in the future, especially with ankle issues etc. please help!

He has given me the go ahead to start touch weight bearing and begin my physio. The physio thought it was unusual about the misaligned fibula that they donít seem concerned about it!

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 Tib/fib fracture - malunion of fibula  new
Hannah L  1:20pm Dec 5 2019

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31 May 2020