Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Leg/Knee Case 8 History/Physical Exam

Proximal Fibula Fracture


History and Physical Exam

When proximal fibular fractures occur in isolation, the mechanism is a direct blow to the lateral leg. Usually there are other more significant injuries so perform a thorough knee, ankle and foot exam. Remember to assess the peroneal nerve by checking ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion and lateral leg sensation. Medial ankle tenderness would suggest a Maisonneuve fracture (see separate section)

These patients will often be able to ambulate since the fibula bears little weight. There will be localized tenderness.