The fibula (calf bone), is located on the lateral side of the tibia. It is the smaller of the two bones. Although the fibula is not a weight bearing bone, it is a stabilizer bone and assists in maneuverability. The fact that it is not a weight bearing bone, makes it a good source for bone marrow, as most humans can afford to lose some bone mass in this area. It is a predominant source of bone marrow stem cells. It is, in fact, a primary location where bone marrow is extracted for bone marrow donations or transplant procedures. The fibula contains many minerals, including calcium.
A fracture can be simple or compound. There are 7 types of fractures:
1) Avulsion: A fragment of bone is pulled away at the muscle or tendon attachment.
2) Transverse: A perpendicular crack along the length of the bone. A transverse fracture is a complete break, traveling all the way through the bone.
3) Green-Stick: A splintering of a soft bone. Most common in children because their bones are calcifying and have not hardened completely.
4) Oblique: A diagonal jagged break, not yet displaced.
5) Spiral: Similar to the oblique break, most common in ski accidents.
6) Impacted: Caused when a bone breaks and one end of the bone is driven into the other end.
7) Comminuted: May be referred to as a “blow out” fracture. Best described as a multiple amount of fragments that need to be repaired with screws or wires.
May require up to 6 weeks of casting for long bones, and up to 3 weeks of either splinting or casting for smaller bones. If a stress fracture occurs, there should be at least 14 days of rest.