There is a commonly held misconception that, when it comes to feet or ankles, if you can put weight on it, or if you can actively move it, it can’t be broken. The truth of the matter is that there are certain conditions that can expose this statement to be a myth.
- The fibula is one of the long bones in your shin. It is located on the outside of the leg and makes the lateral (outside) part of the ankle joint. This bone is a non weight bearing bone, and therefore, if it fractures, a person may still be able to bear weight and walk on it despite it being fractured. NFL football players, such as Donovan McNabb in 2002, have played an entire game on a fractured leg, believing that it was a sprained ankle instead.
- There are times when a person can sprain their ankle, and in the process of this happening, the ligament may pull or break a fragment (chip) of bone off at the attachment. This is referred to as an avulsion fracture and because there is no other interruption other than the anchor of the ligament, moving the foot or walking on it may still both be possible.
- Stress fractures or bone reactions can also cause pain but do not prevent a person from being able to bear weight or even walk or run on them. They are usually identified by a Physician or a Physical Therapist because of a prolonged presence of often times progressively worsening pain with activity. These injuries typically start as a low grade (but progressive) ache and rarely prevent a person from continuing with their activities early on.