The fibula is the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg. Since it connects the shin to the foot, it is partially responsible for the distribution of weight through the ankle. The tibia is the larger bone in the lower leg that holds more of the weight, but the fibular is more likely to fracture simply because it is smaller. Stress fractures to the fibula often occur from sports and other repetitive activities. Pain in the outer leg is common and usually increases when weight is put on the fractured leg.
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Foot and Ankle In-and-Out
The foot and ankle in-and-out exercise works the range of motion, strength and stability of your ankle. This exercise, and all exercises, should be given the go ahead by your physician prior to doing it. Attempting to do exercises not recommended by your physician can increase symptoms.
The foot and ankle in-and-out exercise works your side-to-side movement of your feet. Lie down on your back to do the exercise. You may prop yourself up on your forearms to observe your leg or lie flat. Begin with your toes pointing to the ceiling and your legs straight. Rotate your injured foot from left to right as far as you are able without pain. Rotate at the ankle to move the foot, not the knee joint. Go back and forth between 10 and 20 times, unless otherwise directed by a physiotherapist.
Foot and Ankle Up-and-Down
The foot and ankle up-and-down exercise works the ankle in the opposite plane of motion as the foot and ankle side-to-side exercise. This exercise also increases range of motion and strength, just with a different movement.
To perform the foot and ankle up and down exercise, lie on your back with your legs straight. Begin by pulling the toes of your injured ankle up and toward your shin. Then, extend your foot forward as if pointing your toes. Pull your foot back up. Keep your foot straight throughout the exercise without allowing it to rotate inwards or outwards. Do 10 to 20 repetitions, unless told otherwise by a physiotherapist or if pain is felt.
Some aerobic activities that involve jumping or that place a lot of stress on the ankle like running should be avoided if you have an ankle injury. Low and non-impact aerobics, however, like swimming and stationary cycling that gently work the ankle may be options that will allow you to continue to exercise, improve blood circulation and strengthen your joints without making the condition worse. Blood circulation, of course, aides healing. Check with your doctor before trying these exercises, and do not do them if you feel increased pain.