Avatar universal

HELP! Non Union of Fibula????

I wonder if anyone can help/has suffered something similar?

In 1999 I was hit by a car and fractured my left tibia and fibular which was fixed (tibia only) by an intermedullary nail 1 day after the accident.  Union of the tibia was very slow - (the fibula was left untreated) but eventually I was told that the tibia had united.  The nail was removed exactly 1 year later as it was becoming an irritant as the screws near the knee failed 3 months after the initial operation and the nail was just fixed at the lower (ankle) portion for the next 9 months.

I have always had a painful region (with a lumpy bit that sticks out a bit) near my ankle where I presumed the fracture site was, but I have always remained active - I rode horses, I walk everywhere as I don't drive, I use the gym, run and swim.  Now, here's the annoying bit - for the last 2 months or so the region has become actively painful and stiff with pains travelling down into my ankle.  If I have a period of activity, it is generally ok until I rest - then I limp and have a fair reduction in the length of my leg - I have caught myself just standing on the ball of my foot as I must subconsciously feel this is all I have to stand on as my ankle is tight.

After some research, I am wondering if I have a nonunion of the fibula as when I went to the GP he was concerned about the lump at the fracture site and commented that I shouldn't have such a sore fracture site after nearly 9 years since my last surgery.

Unfortunately I have to wait 3 weeks for the x ray results.
Anyone have anything to comment or experienced the same phenomena?
Thank you for your time.

3 Responses
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Avatar universal
Hello Dear,

Distal fibula nonunion appears is a relatively common cause of persistent lateral ankle symptoms. The persistent lateral pain results from micromotion strain at the incomplete fracture union site
Historically, the standard of care for minimally or nondisplaced, closed, distal fibula fractures has been short-term immobilization and progressive weightbearing. Vast majority of such patients are expected to heal with excellent functional outcome after such treatment. There exists a subpopulation of patients sustaining these fibular fractures who develop symptomatic incomplete union or nonunion despite appropriate management, and later require operative intervention to eliminate pain.
Surgical stabilization of fibular nonunion seems to be a reliable means of resolving these symptoms when conservative measures fail.
[Reference- http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15948400]

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Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply - The radiograph has since shown a 'satisfactory' union of both the tibia and fibula - which is good news.  I still have the pain however and have been referred for some physio.
I was told it is probably a tendon problem and physio will give me some specific exercises.  Lets hope this does the trick?
Best wishes
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Avatar universal
Hello Dear,

Good to hear that the bones have joined satisfactorily. You can take painkillers and anti-inflammatory agents like diclofenac, ibuprofen etc.
What specifically is the diagnosis /what is the problem with the tendons?
Exercises and light massage might be of good help.

Take care
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