We’ve seen some basketball players sustain tibia fractures the past couple years. The most recent being Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward. While performing a pass in the air during the season opener for the Celtics Hayward landing on his left leg with a twisting motion. This resulted in a fracture dislocation of the ankle.
According to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “Sports injuries, such as a fall while skiing or running into another player, are lower-energy injuries that can cause tibial shaft fractures. These fractures are typically caused by a twisting force and result in an oblique or spiral type of fracture.”
While these are devastating, the recovery and long term effects of these injuries are relatively small.
There are many options for treatment of tibial fractures including nonsurgical and surgery. If the fracture is nonsurgical or the patient is a poor candidate for surgery due to health conditions he/she can be placed in a cast or boot while remaining non-weight bearing. Should the fracture require surgery the surgeon will choose some of the following common surgical treatments include: Intramedullary Nailing, Plates and screws, and/or External Fixation. After cleared by the Surgeon to progress the healing process the road to recovery often includes physical therapy and transitioning from non-weight bearing to a normal gate pattern.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons lists several tips on preventing stress fractures.
- Make sure you gradually work into activities. Do not try to accomplish your ultimate goal in the first week of beginning a training program.
- Cross train- it is important to alternate activities so that you are not applying the same stress to the area every day. For example, “Instead of running every day to meet cardiovascular goals, run on even days and bike on odd days. Add some strength training and flexibility exercises to the mix for the most benefit.”
- Proper foot wear is important. Worn out running shoes may set you up for injury.
- “Let pain be your guide.” This is said often, but is also confused with “No pain, No gain.” Unfortunately, pushing yourself through pain can lead to a more significant injury. If you have pain that persists, it is important to follow up with an orthopaedic surgeon.
By: Jacob Mayday