A shinbone fracture is a break in the tibia. The tibia is bone on the inside of the lower leg.

Fractured Leg
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It may be caused by trauma from:

  • Falls
  • Twists
  • A direct blow to the leg
  • A motor vehicle accident
  • A gunshot wound

Risk Factors

Things that may raise your risk are:

  • Playing some sports, such as soccer, skiing, gymnastics, or dance
  • Having a health problem that may result in falls, such as weak muscles


Shinbone fracture may cause:

  • Leg pain that is worse with motion
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Problems walking and putting weight on the leg
  • A change in the way the leg looks


You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the leg.

Images of your leg will be taken. This can be done with:


It may take 4 to 6 months to heal. The goals of treatment are to ease pain and swelling. This may include:

  • Medicine to ease pain and swelling
  • A splint, brace, walking boot, or cast to prevent the leg from moving as it heals
  • A walker or crutches to take weight off of the leg as it heals
  • Exercises to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion

Children's bones have growth plates that let bones grow and harden with age. A child with a fracture may need to be checked over time to make sure the bone heals the right way and keeps growing.

Putting Bones Back In Place

Some fractures cause pieces of bone to come apart. These pieces will need to be put back into place. This may be done:

  • Without surgery—anesthesia will be used to decrease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
  • With surgery—pins, screws, plates, or a rod may be needed to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place


Most fractures are due to accidents. Keeping bones and muscles strong may help. This may be done through diet and exercise.

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