The Tibia

The Tibia

The tibia or shin bone is found medial (towards the middle) and anterior (towards the front) to the other such bone, the fibula. It is the second longest, and largest, bone in the human body, the largest being the femur. The tibia articulates with the femur and patella superiorly, the fibula laterally and with the ankle inferiorly.

Musculoskeletal Fractures

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.

Fracture Care

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 (a very small crack in the bone) occurs, there should be at least 14 days of rest.

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