Lower Leg Injuries
Injuries to the lower leg include:
- Fractures of the shinbone (tibia)
- Fractures of the splint bone (fibula)
- Damage to the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendons)
Fractures of the tibia are usually due to a heavy blow (for example, from the bumper of a moving vehicle). As there is little flesh over the tibia, a fracture is more likely to produce a wound. The fibula can also be broken by the twisting forces that sprain an ankle.
- Do not allow the casualty to eat or drink because an anesthetic may be needed.
- Do not raise the casualty’s legs, even if he shows signs of shock, because you may cause further internal damage.
There may be:
- Localized pain.
- Swelling, bruising and deformity of the leg.
- An open wound.
- Inability to stand on the injured leg
WHAT TO DO
IF THE FRACTURE IS MID-LOWER LEG
- Help the casualty to lie down and make him comfortable. Steady and support the injured leg by hand at the knee and ankle to prevent any movement. If there is a wound, carefully expose it and treat the bleeding. Place a dressing over the wound to protect it.
- Call ∗9999 for emergency help. Maintain support until the ambulance arrives.
- While the ambulance is on its way, support the injured leg by splinting it to the uninjured one. Bring the healthy leg alongside the injured one and slide bandages under both legs at once.
- Position a narrow-fold bandage at the feet and ankles and then tie broad-fold bandages at the knees—as well as above and below the fracture site. Insert padding between the lower legs.
- Tie a figure-eight bandage around the feet and ankles, then secure the other bandages; tie knots on the uninjured side.
- If the casualty’s journey to hospital is likely to be long and uncomfortable, place additional soft padding on the outside of the injured leg, from the knee to the foot. Secure the legs with broad-fold bandages as described above.
Information courtesy St. John’s Ambulance