Lower Leg Fracture

Your child has a lower leg fracture. This page explains how to take care of your child at home.

Lower Leg Fracture
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The lower leg has two long bones. In a lower leg fracture, either the fibula, tibia or both can be broken.

Your child may need a cast

Whether your child needs a cast or not depends on the location and nature of the fracture. Your child may need a partial, complete, or air cast. If your child needs a cast, it may be put on in the Emergency Department.

Follow-up appointment at the fracture clinic

One week after the injury, your child will need to have an appointment with the fracture clinic at the hospital.

Write the date and time of the first appointment here:

Write down the name of the doctor or nurse at the fracture clinic here:

At the follow-up appointment, the doctor or nurse will explain when your child can start to put weight on the leg and how long your child will probably need to wear the cast.

Removing the cast

If your child has a temporary cast, you can take it off it at home. When taking off the cast, carefully cut up the flannel side of the cast with scissors to remove it.

Other types of casts will need to be removed by the orthopaedic technicians. 

At home after the cast is removed

After the cast is removed, your child's leg may be dry, itchy, and look dirty. Use warm water and soap to gently wash it and cream to moisturize the skin.

It is normal for your child to limp, walk with the foot turned out, and protect the leg

When the cast is off, your child may limp, walk with the foot turned out, and protect the leg. This is normal and may last for several months. This is because the muscles are weak and the joints are stiff. With more activity, your child will walk as well as before.

Avoid contact sports

Your child should avoid high-impact, contact sports for a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks after removing the cast. Your child will gradually gain confidence in the leg and will return to regular activities.

If you have any concerns, contact your family doctor or the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) at the fracture clinic.

Key points

  • Your child may need a cast to heal a fractured leg.
  • Your child should come to a follow-up clinic about 1 week after the cast was put on.
  • Your child will need to avoid high-impact activities after the cast is taken off.

Preeti Grewal, RN, MN, APN
William Cole, MBBS, MSc, PhD, FRACS, FRCSC