Leg injuries in athletes are usually the result of overuse or sudden acute trauma.
Cold or Heat Therapy
For certain tibia injuries, immobilization with a splint, protective boot or crutches may be necessary.
Exercise prescriptions could come in a variety of formats. Specific movements may be suggested to stretch and strengthen key leg muscles. Biomechanical adjustments to your technique or form may help alleviate pain. You may have to take a complete break from your sport or switch to a low-impact activity such as swimming to allow the injury to heal and/or prevent recurrence.
Tibia Stress Fracture Surgery
Intramedullary nailing/roddingThis is one of the most preferred surgeries for tibial fractures. A metal rod is inserted through the knee and into the tibia to stabilize the bone from the inside out. An intramedullary “nail” is maintained in place while the fracture heals. This procedure usually results in a firm bonding of the fractured tibia and protects the remaining portions of the bone from later injury.
External fixationThis is another procedure that can be used for significant fractures. Metal screws or pins are externally affixed to the bone above and below the fracture. A bar is then attached to the screws or pins outside the skin to keep the fractured bone to maintain stability either temporarily or until the fracture heals. This surgery is somewhat less invasive than intramedullary nailing.
Open reduction and internal fixation (plates and screws)When other surgical procedures are not an option because the fracture runs into the knee or ankle joint or if there are multiple fragments present, plates and screws can be used. First the bone fragments are realigned and then they are held in place using surgical screws and metal plates.
Why Ohio State?
Why choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for treatment of sports-related leg injuries?
Innovative research: Our sports medicine research on chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) is designed to ultimately develop a multicenter database for collecting outcome information on this condition as well.
High-level training: We offer fellowship-level physician care and physical therapy. That means our providers have completed up to two years of intense, specialized experiential training in the field, which translates to extensive proficiency in patient care.
A Closer Look at Stress Fractures
Treating Stress Fractures
Dr. Michael Jonesco explains the diagnosis and treatment of stress fractures, as well as ways to prevent injury.
Handling Stress Fractures
Our experts share how to handle stress fractures to get back to your regular activity level as quickly and safely as possible.