Fractured fibula: What are the indications?

The fibula is a leg bone positioned amidst the knee and ankle joints parallel to the shin bone. The bone can be fractured near the knee, middle shaft or at the level of the ankle.

The symptoms are typically localized to the area of the fracture but it can be impaired together with other damages that cause other symptoms in other sites. An X-ray of the lower leg and ankle is taken by the doctor to assess the fibula and other bones for fractures.

What are the usual indications of a fractured fibula?

Pain and tenderness

A fractured fibula can trigger pain and tenderness over the fibula depending on the site of the break. If other ligaments and bones are damaged, tenderness and pain can occur near those injured structures.


A fractured fibula can trigger pain and tenderness over the fibula depending on the site of the break.


The swelling usually manifests around the site of the fracture that can be either close to the knee, amidst the knee and ankle or at the ankle itself. In some individuals, there is minor swelling while others suffer from significant swelling.


Bruising is also a common indication of a fractured fibula, but might also be present in other injuries. The bruising might develop at the site of the fracture or away from the area depending on how the fluid moves via the tissues that surround the injury.

Difficulty in bearing weight and deformity

If an individual is suspected with a broken fibula, there is difficulty in bearing weight. Another indication of damage is evident deformity. If the midshaft is damaged, it results to deformity in the lower leg amidst the knee and ankle.

A fracture near the ankle can cause an irregular appearance of the ankle. An open fracture is characterized by bone that penetrates through the skin.

Neurovascular injury

A fracture fibula can damage the blood vessels and nerves. Damage to the common peroneal nerve can be due to the fracture or mechanism responsible for the break.

This results to tingling, numbness and weakness in the foot and lower leg. Remember that any form of vascular injury can lead to bleeding or buildup of blood which is called as hematoma in the lower leg.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a fractured fibula is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about the causes, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.