The lower leg is made up of two bones: the tibia and fibula. The tibia is the larger of the two bones. It supports most of your weight and is an important part of both the knee joint and ankle joint.
TYPES OF TIBIAL SHAFT FRACTURES
The tibia can break in several ways. The severity of the fracture usually depends on the amount of force that caused the break. The fibula is often broken as well.
Common types of tibial fractures include:
This type of fracture is barely out of place. The broken ends of the bones are aligned. In a stable fracture, the bones usually stay in place during healing.
Displaced fracture: When a bone breaks and is displaced, the broken ends are separated and do not line up. These types of fractures often require surgery to put the pieces back together.
This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line. This fracture can be unstable, especially if the fibula is also broken.
This type of fracture has an angled pattern and is typically unstable. If an oblique fracture is initially stable or minimally displaced, over time it can become more out of place. This is especially true if the fibula is not broken.
This type of fracture is caused by a twisting force. The result is a spiral-shaped fracture line about the bone, like a staircase. Spiral fractures can be displaced or stable, depending on how much force causes the fracture.
Comminuted or Multi-fragmentary fracture
This type of fracture is very unstable. The bone shatters into three or more pieces.
When broken bones break through the skin, they are called open or compound fractures. For example, when a pedestrian is struck by the bumper of a moving car, the broken tibia may protrude through a tear in the skin and other soft tissues.