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Is it normal for a growth between the tibia and fibula inspite of having sprained ankle? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 26-Mar-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 106 Questions
User:My 14 year old son broke his tibia about half way between the knee and ankle. The doctor at the time said it did not require surgery, so casted the leg. My son has participated in normal activities since then, although sometimes complains about a pain in his broken leg. This past weekend he twisted his ankle playing basketball, so we took him up for an xray. The ankle was sprained, not broken, however the xray shows that at the place where he broke his tibia years ago, it appear that there is bone growth that has attached to the fibula. Both the PA and the nurse mentioned something weird about the xray, but not concerning the ankle. I just recieved a copy of the xray today so can see what they were referring too? Is this normal for a growth between the tibia and fibula and should I be concerned for my son?
Doctor:please give me a moment to read your query
User:I failed to mention the broken tibia happened approximately five years ago when he was 9 I believe
Doctor:All right
Doctor:I have read your query
Doctor:It is possible for some amount of bone growth to happen between the two bones tibia and fibula
Doctor:If it does not cause any mechanical restriction to his movement, it can be left unattended to
Doctor:We need to see the extent of growth and attachment between the two bones for it
Doctor:Is there a gross deformity in your son's leg?
Doctor:like a bent bone
Doctor:is he walking normally?
Doctor:playing around normally?
Doctor:is there a swelling at the fracture area on the tibia?
User:yes, it is just that sometimes he complains about a pain in his leg where it was previously broken
User:no swelling
Doctor:then this is not concerning
Doctor:radiologically, overlapping of bone growth can be seen
Doctor:can be apparent
User:OK, since I have you on here, can I ask you another question?
Doctor:but clinically it may not be significant
Doctor:so, you can relax on this
Doctor:please ask me
User:I slipped on the ice and landed on my ankle on 2/16 and broke by fibula right above the ankle joint I am a 51 yr old male
User:I was told it was only mildly displaced and put in a brace have not put any weight on my ankle
User:my questions pertains to the radiology report on my second set of xrays ten days later on 2/26
Doctor:sure, please proceed
User:it reads "there is an oblique, mildly displaced, sligtly overriding, but not significantly angulated, distal fibular fracture extending into the apex of the lateral ankle gutter" "there is a slight widening of the latereral anle mortise compared to the medial. Clinical correlation for mortise instability" "there is a 7.5 mm ovoid bony fragment overlying the upper lateral ankle gutter. Position of this fragment is uncertain, related to the joint." " Minimal irregularity along the posterior malleolus is seen, nondisplaced injury cannot be excluded"
Doctor:are you there?
Doctor:let me read it
User:Any concern in what you read?
Doctor:it seems to be displaced
Doctor:very minor
User:very minor means no concern for future problems?
Doctor:yes, but you need a longer immobilization periods for complete recovery
Doctor:like the immobility should extend by minimum 2 weeks
User:what is a 7.5 mm ovoid bony fragment overlying the upper lateral ankle gutter mean?
User:i was told to stay off ankle for another one to two weeks after the last xray
Doctor:This means there is a piece of boen in the lateral part of the ankle
Doctor:bone* sorry
User:the piece of bone will fuse back on, no concern?
Doctor:yes, ideally it should fuse without any hindrance
Doctor:like I said, longer immobility of the joint would be required
User:OK, i appreciate your answers without being able to actually see the xray
Doctor:I am trying to read the report mentally
Doctor:I do not see a serious concern though
User:in your opinion, i have been off ankle for two weeks now, I will should stay off ankle for another two weeks, then how long do you think I should keep brace on when I start putting weight on ankle?
Doctor:these are minute disturbances that should heal without any active surgical intervention
Doctor:Give it complete 4 weeks rest
Doctor:on the braces, light weight for another 4 weeks
Doctor:The initial 4 weeks are crucial for proper healing
Doctor:so make sure you completely immobilize the ankle in this time
User:OK, makes sense to me. I agree with your opinion. Thanks you for you help
Doctor:my pleasure
User:sorry one last question, they did not cast my ankle, but I have a secure brace which I leave on 24 hours a day and have only taken off a few times to clean and put lotion on leg and ankle, this should be fine without the cast?
Doctor:Yes, this should be fine
Doctor:a secure brace is all you need with immobilization
User:OK, thanks again you have been very helpful in all questions
Doctor:thank you too
Doctor:Get well soon
User:thanks, have a good night or day whereever you may be
Doctor:thank you
Doctor:Good night to you
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