Fractured Fibula, Healing But Pain Won't Go Away

by Sharon

On 7/28 I fractured my fibula. On 7/30 I was put in an air cast by a nurse practioner and the orthopedist office.

I kept the cast on except for showering for 6 weeks. On 9/10 the cast was removed, the x rays showed healing and I told the nurse practitioner that I was having considerable pain in my ankle.

I went to physical therapy for 3 weeks. The physical therapist said that I was making excellent progress. I was still having increased pain especially at the end of the day.

I saw the nurse practitioner at the orthopedist on 10/6. By now I couldn't sleep at night because of the pain in my ankle.

The nurse practitioner after consulting the doctor gave me a very painful cortisone shot and some pain medication and said it should be resolved in 2 or 3 days.

I found your website and started icing 4 or 5 times and day and ice water dipping 20-40 times a day for the past 5 days. My ankle is marginally better but at days end sore and interrupting sleep.

What now?


Joshua Answers:

Hi Sharon. Thanks for asking. I like 'tough' scenario's to help figure out.

So....what the nurse practitioner really meant to say was that she 'hoped' that it would be resolved in 2-3 days.

Corticosteroid Injections don't fix anything. At best, they get rid of the pain for a while.

So I have some questions:

1. How exactly did you break the fibula?

2. How bad was the fracture?

3. How active are you on your feet historically?

4. Any history of pain/problem in the ankles, like Tendonitis?

See: What Is Tendonitis?

5. Is the pain in your ankle now, at the site of the fracture or somewhere else?

6. Please describe the pain in as great detail as possible. How, when, where, what helps, what makes worse, etc.

Some thoughts I will expand on or not after I get your answers:

1. If you are Vit D and Magnesium deficient (very very likely) then the bone may not be healing as well as it looks like it is. Low magnesium levels equal less calcium utilization, for instance.

2. Depending on the impact and where your pain is, you may have jammed and stuck your joint and an expert chiropractor or osteopath can make it right.

3. KEEP ICING! There is a HUGE and stubborn Process of Inflammation that kicks in with fractures and breaks.

I'm curious to see how you answer the above questions.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Oct 12, 2009
Fractured Fibula, Peroneal Tendonitis, Healing But Pain Won't Go Away
by: Sharon

Thanks for your interest.

I fractured my fibula on the golf course walking from cart path to grass on uneven terrain, turned the outside of my ankle.

Before the fracture I played golf 4 times a week, walking not riding. I took power yoga classes twice week.

I went to the gym and used the elliptical trainer and do weight training 3 times a week. I'm 62, walk a lot and am fit. My bone density tests are good.

The fracture was distal and non displaced. It was not considered a problem break.

When I went back to the nurse practitioner at the orthopedist after consulting with the doctor he thought my increased pain was because I had peroneal tendonitis.

That's when I got the cortisone shot. I have flat feet and they tend to overpronate. I wear orthotics but have never had problems with tendonitis before.

My physical therapist suggested that when I fractured the fibula I also sprained my ankle and this tendonitis is the result.

I've been in pain from the time of the fracture.

The pain is strong right around my ankle bone and the cavity above the bone not the site of the fracture. It is an aching pain. There is also a pulling sensation that goes up my calf. It is not too bad just stiff in the morning and gets worse as the day wears on and wakes me up at night.

I've been icing 4-5 times a day and ice dipping 20-40 times a day. I've been keeping my leg up and elevated most of the day. It does seem better after icing or dipping. I take calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Should I get an MRI?

Oct 13, 2009
PART 3 - Fractured Fibula, Peroneal Tendonitis, Healing But Pain Won't Go Away
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Hi Sharon.

I don't know whether to be more impressed that you're that active at 62 (compared to other 60 year olds, not that 62 is 'old') or that you ice dip 40 times.

Rock on!


1. Should you get an MRI? Only if it's paid for and you're curious about what it shows. Functionally, it's unlikely to give you any information that is going to make a difference.

That probably doesn't get across what I want it to, but...what you are going to do to get better isn't likely to change with whatever you happen to see on the MRI.

Having said that, they're interesting. It's all about learning more about your body. So go for it if you want to.

2. Am I correct that the fracture itself doesn't hurt, it's more up the leg and overall ache?

How much do you think that overall ache is from the fracture, as opposed to the tendon strain.

3. Out of curiousity, how much magnesium and Vit D do you take? (ever had your Vit D levels tested?)

If you're taking mag, that makes your calcium more uptakeable, so I'm not worried about the fracture healing.

4. If you feel pulling up your calf, that's a good indication that something like the Peroneus is involved. Maybe there's Tendonitis, maybe the muscle is just still overprotective and too tight from the ankle turn.

5. I bet you did sprain or strain your tendon.

Sprain is ligament, strain is tendon and/or muscle.

And, possibly you pulled a little bit of tendon connection away from the bone. That wouldn't show up on xray, unless it pulled up a chunk of bone too, which happens. Ouch.


My first and main suggestion is to fine tune your icing by getting an ice cube, for instance, and massaging anything that hurts. This includes tracing that pulling up the calf, finding that specific muscle, digging the belly with ice, and follow it down to the tendon and attachment.

Ice dipping, keep that going. The more blood to the area and waste product and pain enhancing chemical out, the faster everything can heal.

That was mostly stream of consciousness there.

If it didn't answer your question(s) specifically....More questions, more answers.

Oct 14, 2009
Fractured Fibula, Healing But Pain Won't Go Away
by: Sharon

I take 400 mg of Magnesium and 1000 of Vitamin D daily.

The pain is definitely right around the outer (fibula) bone. My primary care doc had blood tests done 3 months ago. I was found to be low in Vitamin D.

My physical therapist has been doing electronic stimulation. He says it brings blood to the area.

I'm feeling very discouraged and sort of depressed at not being able to exercise. The physical therapist gave me some exercises to do.

So I've been doing those, icing and ice dipping. I know that everyone heals at a different rate but how long before this pain goes away. It is at the same level and intensity for the past week.



Joshua Comments:

Hey Sharon.

An infants dose of Vit D is 800 iu's. If 1k/day is all you've been doing, I guarantee your levels are still low.

This can have something to do with your pain, actually.

Keep with the Mag, that's good.

Stim is ok/good, exercise is good. Keep it moving.

I don't remember if you said where you live, but it may be worth it to find a really good massage therapist that knows what they're doing.

If you can relax the muscles and cuah of the lower leg, expecially that one that you feel the pull up your calf, that can go a LONG way.

You can massage yourself too. While watching tv, just feel around, explore, stretch, push, dig, pester, etc. The more tender a structure is, the more love it needs. Love being a technical term for attention and touch and work.

It sucks the pain is lingering, I know. Some things really do take time. But they take LESS time if you treat them right, with icing, and massage, and the right nutrition.

Nov 10, 2012
i got fracture the fibula in the joint of ankle but pain is still there even after 45 days
by: sanjeev gaur

I got fracture in fibula bone at lower front joint portion on 28 sep and applied the splint for 8 days and after that removed the splint and start bandaged the ankle and back to normal routine but i was not putting proper weight on my foot because there was not such pain in the ankle but now when i start putting weight on my leg for last one week the pain is not going and could not walk properly.

One can easily feel the fractured piece of joint bone of ankle by touching it. Doctor said that the bone is properly fixed.

I am taking one calcium tablet per day and one vitamin D in a week.


Joshua Comments:

How much Vitamin D are you taking?

Might also want to consider adding magnesium, as Vitamin D and Magnesium are required for uptake of Calcium (and thus better bone healing).

Sep 13, 2013
You are not alone
by: Anonymous

I am so glad to know that I am not alone when it comes to how my fibula was broken. I too, broke my ankle on the golf course. I broke it bad and went through surgery a few days ago. It happened so fast that it is hard to explain how it happened.

But I am worried that it may take more time to heal than what the doctor is telling me. After doing my own research it will take 9 weeks at best to be up and running again. But, that is only if there was no damage to the ligaments - which I think there were.

Mar 11, 2014
by: KAY






Joshua Comments:

Hi Kay.

1. Please don't type in ALL CAPS

2. You may want to reconsider taking 'prescription Vitamin D', as it's almost always Vit D2, and you want Vit D3. D2 brings up levels but confers no benefits. Vit D3 confers benefits and raises levels.

What is your Vit D level?

3. Icing should be fine, but if you have a blood clot, you definitely need to ask your doctor.

4. Keep your foot ankle moving, even just a tiny bit inside the cast. MOvement is a good thing. Immobilization is not so great. But if you can activate the muscles and get even a little bit of length and shortness, that's a good thing in the long run.

May 12, 2015
Spiral Fracture of the Fibula now swelling and uncomfortable
by: Angela

One week ago I fell whilst hiking and broke my fibula. I have a minimally displaced spiral fracture. I am due to see the ortho surgeon tomorrow. At the moment I just have a backslab on.

Initially I had no pain and really didn't think it was broken till the xray was taken.

My foot and ankle is now swelling and aching and uncomfortable. Elevation helps a little.

Can you describe the icing and dipping procedure. I would like to know any other techniques to help repair and elevate the aching.

thanks Angela


Joshua Comments:

Hi Angela.

See: How To Reduce Inflammation

What did the doctor say?

Did you get a cast on?

Jun 01, 2015
broken fibula, 13 weeks still painful
by: Paulunderhill

I'm 45 and fell over and broke the fibula about an inch above the ankle, plaster cast for a week then airboot for 6 weeks.

Doing my own physio at home, stretching etc but walking is painful after about 15-20 minutes, progress seems slow hindering me from golf, hiking and my job as a postman.

Orthopedist was happy after 6 weeks that bone had healed so why 7 weeks later is there 4 hours of discomfort after about 50 minutes walking?



Joshua Comments:

Hi Paul

Aside from any residual of the actual broken bone, discomfort etc exists because if the chronic inflammation, but moreso the connective tissue shrinkwrapping that happens when immobilized in a cast etc for weeks.

Muscle gets constricted by connective tissue. Connective tissue shapes itself to the smaller shape. Muscle is constricted, and doesn't work very well in that scenario.s

Sure you took it out of the air cast some, but the dynamic remains.

Jun 03, 2015
Am I worrying over nothing?
by: Paulunderhill

Is it worth going back to check at hospital if bone residue is present or does this problem resolve itself over time as will the inflammation and I just need to be more patient?

Thankyou for your time


Joshua Comments:

What do you mean, 'bone residue'?

Personally, I would never be patient in the hopes that pain problems will fix themselves.

You might realize one day that it's been 2 years and still hurts. Humans are funny like that...we have this innate expectation that we'll just eventually heal back to normal.

With my ruptured disc thing, I had learned to manage it, but one day I realized that I'd had significant pain in my back for 3 years. 3 years! And I noticed I had this daily conversation in my mind that 'it would get better soon'.

So I wouldn't be patient.

I'd be ice dipping as per the How To Decrease Inflammation link you'll find in this thread.

I'd be hitting up important nutrition to give your body everything it needs. Bones need access to calcium, and you need adequate Vit D and Magnesium for your body to utilize its calcium.

I'd be lengthening the too tight connective tissue that is now compressing everything in/around the area.

Jun 03, 2015
by: Paulunderhill

I was referring to your quote of "residual bone" that I interpreted as there may be bits of bone from the fracture present?

But surely if this was the case it would hurt from my first steps in the morning whereas I have NO pain until I've been walking for about 10 mins.

The doctor told me to walk and play golf but it's difficult as its so painful after about half an hour. Do you think this is normal or I get checked out again?

I'm an active person so being immobile drives me nuts! But I don't want to do more harm by doing too much if there is such a thing?

After all the bone had healed as I saw the x Ray image so do I plod on through the pain or get checked out again?

Really appreciate your input, thankyou


Joshua Comments:

Oh, I see.

Sorry, I meant residual downsides of a broken bone, specifically bone/calcium build up, pain at the specific site of the break, pain from the periosteum (the connective tissue layer that shrinkwraps bone) swelling etc.

If you have a floating shard of bone that's likely problematic, but not what I was referring to. It's unlikely short of a couple specific (and bad) kinds of breaks, where bone shatters or splinters in to multiple pieces.

Yes, it's probably normal. You're ONLY 7 weeks out from a break and immobilization.

The bone healing is only one of multiple factors at play.

* Chronic inflammation process and pain enhancing chemical in the area
* Connective tissue layers shrink wrapping/constricting
* Too tight muscle
* Muscle tone set too tight by the nervous system trying to 'guard and protect'
* Various other smaller but possibly significant factors

Have you ice dipped as I suggested (after going for a walk and upping the pain levels)?

Oct 21, 2015
Fibula break and arch in back of ankle hurts in cast
by: Anonymous

Hi I have recently broke my fibula in a cast at the moment but having pain under the arch of my foot right around the back of my ankle is this normal? 4 days in a cast so far.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

I don't know if it's normal or not, but it's definitely within the range of unsurprising symptoms/side effects.

Is the cast pressing/rubbing on anything in a way that would cause this?

Dec 12, 2015
Looking fot Advise about broken fibula and 4 weeks of pain
by: Anonymous


I fell 4 weeks ago breaking the fibula at my ankle and mid way.

Both breaks were non displaced and I was placed in a plaster cast for 4 weeks.

I walked around with my leg broken for 2 weeks before i even knew it was broke because the doctors told me it was fine and would heal on its own.

Ive had the cast on for 2 weeks not not including the 2 weeks I had nothing and I noticed that my leg is still sore when i apply pressure when walking or move a certain way.

I have also chiped the bone at the top of my knee as well which my ortho surgeon stated she wanted to put my knee in a brace but couldnt because the cast came up so high and there would not be room.

At first i was not able to bend or fully extend my knee which i am able to do now but if im sitting or standing for long period of time my knee locks on me.

Is it normal that i should still have pain after 4 weeks of the injury and when i see my ortho surgeon in 2 more weeks time anything i should ask or tell her .

She stated as long as everything heals the way she thinks it will i will not require surgery but it bothers me my ankle and my mid fibula still hurt in the cast about the same as when i did it 4 weeks ago.

Any advise ?


Joshua Comments

Hi Anonymous.

You broke a big bone from a big impact, and walked around on it for two weeks.

It is not at all surprising that it hurts 4 weeks later.

Did you chip the bone at the knee from the same fall?

If so, that was a major impact, so yeah, 4 weeks is easily to be expected.

We'll just have to see what the knee does. Mobile joints don't like to be immobilized. If the chip is floating around in there.....

Dec 15, 2015
fractured fibula
by: Abdi

Hi Doctor, I broke my fibula and ankle 11/09/15 after a car ran over my leg got some screw in my fibula luckily didn't fracture my tibia.

I spent 3 nights in the hospital and then was sent home with antibiotics and pain killers.

I did some icing while I was in the hospital but since I came home I never iced it because swelling went away real fast within the first week after I had my cast off and I'm just on removable boot so just wanted to know is good to ice knowing that I have screws in my leg. I thought Introducing ice would not be a good idea I don't why i thought that honestly but it has been 5 weeks now and just wanted to know if icing now after 5 weeks into is ok?

Some swelling back after I had to some places and I have been on foot with crutches and hanging my other for so long caused me some and some swelling. Soon as I came home I started elavating and icing because of the swelling and pain even tho I was pain since my first after breaking leg.


Joshua Comments:

Yes icing/ice dipping after 5 weeks would be a good and smart thing to do.

Dec 16, 2015
Snapped displaced Fibula
by: K8

11 weeks ago I slipped down 2 stairs, my foot folded in half and I heard a snap. Immediate shock.

Teeth chattering, garbled speech and extreme nausea. Called Ambulance. Told it was a sprain and to put weight on it. Got up in night to go to bathroom. Felt sick and faceplanted after passing out. Shock symptons worsened, carpet burn on my face. 20 mins in and out of conciousness although only totally out max 60 sec at beginning. Crawled back to bed. Damaged arm shoulder and intercostal muscles.

Had to keep lifting half of foot back onto pillow . Iced etc. Sweated until drenched - clothes sheets.

3 days later went to Dr then Hospital. Snapped like a carrot they said and back slabbed it. Week later said it was displaced and manipulated it without painkillers to line up. Ouch! Saved having Titanium rods.

At 7 weeks they thought it would be time for weight bearing but xray showed not healing very well.Changed to Moonboot.

Due to go back at week 14. Painful if I dont have regular meds. Can move a little. Have a knee scooter- only way I can get around.

Why is it taking so long. Im an active female in my 50s feeling miserable , sore, swollen, housebound and unable to do very little.

And to top it off my husband broke his Scaphoid in 2 places right in the middle of his dominant hand.

Any advice please?


Joshua Comments:

Hi K8.

Why is it taking so long?

Because you snapped your foot, got terrible care from your doctors/hospitals, got no good rehab followup, and are certainly (becuase most everybody else is) nutritionally lacking in the sense that you'd heal better/faster with more/better nutritional intake.

Oct 18, 2016
Son had severe pain after fibula surgery
by: Mary

My 17 year old son was in a car accident, broke both his fibula and tibula and ankle.

He underwent surgery to have the titanium rod placed since his growth plates were closed. Its been 15 days since the accident and 7 days since the wrappings came off and his ortho placed him in a walking boot.

Every night he wakes in excruciating pain at this shin and ankle. Pain meds dont seem to work and neither does icing for the swelling that he still has.

He has a follow up 10/20 to remove stitches.

What can be the cause of his pain and what do I need to have the ortho look for. No over the counter pain relief helps and I hate to see my child in so much pain. I don't know what could be causing this.

Possibly a pinched nerve, blood clot,,etc?? Im kinda of grasping at straws here and need some help.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Mary.

1. Ouch.

2. "What can be the cause of his pain"

He broke multiple bones (which required massive traumatic/blunt force/impact to the body).

Then he had surgery, which cut a lot of flesh, and had metal drilled and pounded into his bones.

And he's only two weeks from that.

I appreciate that you don't like seeing him in pain. And, your boy's been smashed up. He's going to hurt.

3. Having said that, there's all sorts of factors than can be accentuating his pain.

- Maybe he's got a pinched nerve...but there's nothing to be done about that. He got smashed up. There's all sorts of bruising and swelling and what not. And the surgeons did cut through flesh and everything else in the way.

Little nerves got cut. Maybe/maybe not any big ones, no way to tell at the moment.

- If he's got a blood clot, that's a life threatening issue. Go to the ER or doctor and get an ultrasound to rule it out.

There is also symptomology that comes with blood clots...doctors might not even do an ultrasound without those symptoms (but you can still yell at them until the do the test).

Better safe than sorry.

- Maybe he body is rejecting the titanium (super rare), but aside from that, he's had a metal rod hammered into his bone.

That's going to hurt. A LOT

4. "Pain meds dont seem to work"

A. He's in major trauma still (having been smashed up), with massive Bone Bruise mechanism.

Meaning, there are various things ACTIVELY sending pain signal to the brain. He didn't 'step on a nail' two weeks ago..but it's like he still has a nail in him.

In fact, he does. And it's in his bone. The body does NOT like that intrusion, so he's not actually two weeks 'past' the trauma. It's still a fresh trauma.

B. Having said that, how much pain meds is he on? What kind?

I'm no expert there. Talk with your doctor see what options are available.

I'm not a big fan of pain meds, but give them a big thumbs up to get one through the day/through the night FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

But you gotta do what you gotta do.

First we have to just get him through the tough stage of post-trauma recovery. Which includes a bunch of pain.

"Sorry kid, it's the way of the world. Welcome to your mortality."

5. "neither does icing for the swelling that he still has."

Is he in a cast?

Are you ice packing? 20 minutes a time, etc? how much are are you covering?

Elevating the leg, etc?

6. Summary:

A. He's still in acute mode, with active trauma (metal in his bones, and healing bones, and bone bruise).

B. He's got A LOT going on. 2 weeks isn't long enough to expect a whole lot of reduction in symptoms.

C. He might have 'worse' things going on causing pain, but his level of pain isn't surprising to me 2 weeks out.

D. Talk to the doctor, see what they have to offer re: pain meds.

7. What you should do now:

A. Rule out blood clot if you're worried about it. Via ultrasound.

B. As soon as you can, start ice dipping the lower leg. 10-20 second dips, as often as possible. More often than possible.

He probably isn't up to that right now, so 'as big and heavy as possible ice packs, 5 mins on, repeated as often as possible (let the flesh warm up at least 5 minutes before putting icepack back on).

C. Tell him to keep his toes moving. The body is going to want to tighten EVERYTHING in there up. Keeping the toes moving does all sorts of important thing that will make a big difference in the long run (not the short run).

D. Get the
Reversing Achilles Tendonitis program.

For a variety of reasons including:

- Your son should go heavy on nutrition right now (the nutrition in the program). I'm not going to explain why right here. But I will stress that nutrition is SUPER IMPORTANT for his short and long term future.

- He's going to have (and currently has) all the factors of tendonitis...i.e. muscle and connective tissue tightness, inflammation, and nutritional insufficiency. The program is how you deal with that and keep the body mobile and functional...even (post)trauma like your son has experienced.

- It's a self care plan he should follow for recovery. I wouldn't leave it to 'time'. Time does heal all wounds, but often not very well.

We want him to recover as optimally as possible.

8. Ask more questions.

Oct 27, 2016
8 weeks broken fibula pain
by: Carol

I'm a 67 yo female who broke my left fibula Sept. 2 falling from my bike.

It was a clean, nondiplaced break.

Put in a splint in the ER then went three days later to the dr. who had performed a fasciotomy on same foot in July. No cast. Use boot and stay off of it.

Family complained I didn't see an orthopedic dr so I went to one a week and half after the break.

He said I could start putting a shoe on and to try walking a little each day. So, getting two different opinions, I continued to wear the Air Cast and only lightly put weight on foot while using a walker.

I continued seeing my first dr and continued trying to stay off it. After almost 7 weeks, the x-rays showed about 80% healing. Continue with boot and try shoes a few times a day.

OK, that brings me to about now. The thing is, up until a week ago, I wasn't feeling much pain or discomfort when I tried walking with shoes. Now I feel twinges of pain and discomfort with both shoes and the air cast. The pain is around the ankle but sometimes up my shin area. Sometimes stocking feet feels better.

I still try to put foot up with ice a couple/few times a day. I take 600mg calcium with 800 Vit. D3 a day.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Carol.

Your fibula had a fracture, or a complete break?

I'm guessing fracture if they didn't put you in a cast.

1. Do you know your Vitamin D level?

2. Why are you only taking 800i.u. of Vit D?

3. You're taking Calcium but no Magnesium? (magnesium and vit d are both required to utilize calcium).

4. the pain more around the break, or more around the foot (previous plantar fascia surgery)?

Oct 27, 2016
ankle break 8 weeks broken fibula pain
by: Anonymous

Thank you for quick response. The ER paperwork says fracture and I believe the dr said fracture, but I also thought he said all the way through.

The bones in the x-ray stack up very neatly with no space between. Nondisplaced fracture.

About the Vit. D I don't know my level, but several years ago was deficient. Looked at last winter's lab to find they didn't test it.

I looked for the bottle of vitamins, but realized I must have run out of the 1000 iu and never replenished. The 800 is included in the calcium tablets which do not include magnesium.
The pains are usually around the ankle not foot and they can go up the side of the shin. The pains are kind of pinchy and sharp but are not constant.


Joshua Comments:

Hi again.

It's almost certain that you are still Vit D deficient. You haven't taken enough to ever bring your levels up (from what you've told me here). 1,000i.u./day isn't going to do it.

If you want your bones to heal strong/fast etc, you MUST have enough Vit D and Magnesium. (Do not take more magnesium in the form of calcium/magnesium combo pills as you'll get WAY too much calcium).

Whether that low vit d has anything to do with your current pain we have no way to know. But low vit d equals decreased bone health and function and and and.

It sounds like you had an extensive fracture but not a 'break' per se. A break is a level worse beyond fracture and would require a cast.

See: Magnesium For Tendonitis

See: How To Reduce Inflammation and ice dip the lower leg as described as many times as you're motivated to do for a few days and see how the leg feels with that. It should/will lower pain levels.

Jan 26, 2017
Malleolus fibula fracture from splitting wood
by: Kristie

Hi, 43 yr old female here.

While using a foot pedal kindling splitter, my ankle rolled and I ended up with malleolus fibula fracture.

The bone broke in two and I had to have surgery to place a hook plate and screws to secure it.

The bone and incision seem fine, little sore but fine.

My issue is the achilles tendon is VERY swollen and painful. I can't really flex or exercise my foot like the doc said to.

I ice and elevate 3-4 times a day. I can't dunk yet, the surgery was only 5 days ago.

What will help this aching and swelling of the tendon???


Joshua Comments:

Hi Kristie.

Joshua Comments:

Hi Kristie.

You broke a bone in half, and then had surgery (injury from cutting into your flesh, and then had metal screws screwed into your bone.

I'm surprised you don't have A LOT more pain 5 days later (everybody is different, I have a lowish pain tolerance for that kind of thing, I can't help but think I'd have to be comatose on painkillers for a month).


1. The good news is, you don't have a lot of pain. That's a huge plus.

2. You do have pain in the achilles tendon.

I imagine that the muscles attached to the achilles tendon contracted HARD when you broke the bone. And continued to contract to try to guard and protect.

Just that big contraction can make you sore, but you're not complaining of sore muscles, you're complaining of sore and swollen tendon.

3. There was enough force to snap a bone in half, there would have been plenty enough force to tug on/pull on/overstretch the achilles tendon and/or it's attachment to the bone.

Did the xray show anything around the achilles attachment?

Just an xray? No MRI?

4. How exactly is the achilles tendon swollen? Like, visibly? Can you see it? Or does the tendon just feel swollen?

Maybe you have a little tearing of the tendon/tendon attachment. Wouldn't be surprising, and wouldn't show up on an xray (unless the tendon pulled a big bone chip off).

5. Maybe the tendon hurts and is swollen just because of all the trauma that happened near it. It might hurt/be swollen but not have anything wrong with it.

6. Short of an MRI, there's no way to tell right now. We'll have to pay attention and see how things go.

7. Once the incision heals, and depending on what kind of casting you're in, I'd ice dip as many times per day as you're motivated to do.

5 gallon bucket (or bigger), frozen water bottles, and/or ice so it's arctic cold, and 10-20 second ice dips. 20 minutes of ice pack is a waste of 19 minutes.

8. There's massage (later), but for right now ice dipping is your #1.

You're fresh out of trauma and surgery trauma. Short of pain killer and staying off it and elevation, there's not much to do for it but suck it up and let some time pass.

Then ice dip it like crazy.

Then you'll need to do some serious massage work to get all that too tight connective tissue open and loose again.

Make sure your Vit D level is between 60-80ng/ml and take some magnesium so your body can utilize calcium better and heal the break better/faster.

Mar 19, 2017
10 year old with Fractured Fibula
by: John

Hi Joshua,

My son fractured his Fibula on 4th Dec 2016.
We were told it was only muscular by 3 nurses, and the pain seemed to go away and he said he was ready to play football again. He got kicked in the same place 4 weeks later and was in a lot of pain like the first time.

He'd had an MRI just before the second kick and we had to wait ages for the results. The MRI showed undisplaced healing fracture right proximal third, soft tissue oedema.

Its been rested now from Jan 3rd to Feb 22 (6 weeks on top of the previous 4 weeks).

He's had pain all the way through the last 6 weeks and has a lot of pain if trying to run on a hard surface (sharp pain like the original injury).

The latest XRay (today) shows the bone healing with a callous, and no sign of any fracture.

What could be causing the pain?

Its odd the pain is more so since the second knock to the Callous area, as after 4 weeks initially the pain had almost gone totally.

Can I do anything to help ease it and speed recovery?

What would normally be the time to return to contact sport (nearly 12 weeks in now)

Many Thanks


Joshua Comments:

Hi John.

1. How old is your son?

2. Don't take this wrong, but you son got kicked so hard it fractured his bone, and then not too long later, before it was healed, got kicked again in the same spot (fractured bone).

So it's entirely unsurprising that he still hurts.

3. There's more than just bone to consider. There's:
A. the periosteum, the connective tissue that shrinkwraps bone. An impact fracture means it's going to be bruised/swollen painful.

B. Bone fractures cause bone bruise. A Bone Bruise is a painful, stubbornly long lasting thing (you can speed up the recovery, but still).

C. Speed of healing: What is your son's Vit D level? Chances are it's low. All in all that equals slower/less quality healing.

Youth only goes so far.....damage is damage. And 'worse' than damage, is how the body responds to it.

D. Is it bone pain or regular/general pain? Inflammation releases chemical that enhances one's senstitivity to pain (meaning, it dumps chemical which makes things hurt).

Read this entire thread and the two threads linked to below, that should answer your 'what to do' question(s).

Then come back to answer the above, ask questions, etc.

See Related: Broken Fibula Low Vitamin D

See Related: Myositis Ossificans and Anterior Compartment Syndrome Symptoms Kicked In THe Side Of The Calf And Shin Twice While Playing Soccer

Mar 24, 2017
follow up to previous question re 10 year old
by: John

Hi Joshua,

Thanks for the reply. About 14 weeks after the injury (he's 10 years old), he woke up one morning and said my legs stopped hurting!

For no obvious reason he now has a pain below his ankle bone.

Could this be some form of deferred pain...hes been taking 400 iu daily. How long is it advisable to keep taking it for?



< b>Joshua Comments:

How long should he take vitamin D? Forever. For the rest of his life. He needs a lifelong Vit D level of between 60-80ng/ml (40-60 is good too but not technically optimal).

WHat's his Vit D level? (it's worth it to get it tested so you know what level an intake of 400i.u./day gives him.

"For no obvious reason " Yeah...kicked and fractured is obvious.

What's not obvious is what happens after than, how the body responds (innon-optimal ways_ to pain, how it adapts and adjusts.

Probably he was limping around/compensating for the pain, etc. And as a general theorization, his below ankle pain is a result of that.

Said another way, I'm not sure what you mean by 'deferred' pain, but it's likely it's a result of having been in pain previously.

Ice dip, massage, nutrition.

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