Broken Tibula and Fibula - How long?

Any of you older guys (+40) that have broken these - how long did it take to get back riding again. Complete break - No hardware installed - just a full leg cast to start with. Bummer - the first race of the season. :)

Well, first off i'll be 38 this may! I spiral fractured my tib in 97, was in a cast for 6-7months :) I rebroke my tib and fib this time in 2000! When i went to the doc, he told me everything looked good and that he would put me in a cast and i be on my way!! I told him no-way that i wanted to have surgery to make sure the bones were in contact with each other. Needless to say i now have a Ti rod in my tib! The good news is that i was walking with a broken tib &fib in 2 weeks with a cane!! I was going to have the rod removed, but was told that it's stronger then haven it removed, So i think it's in for the rest of me life!

Still riding/racing just a little more cautious! :D

Believe it or not my 13 year old son did it twice in 6 months.The older crowd that I know are taking 8 months to a year to getting back to riding.Im afraid we dont heal too fast in our 40s.The physical therapy after the cast comes off(around 4 to6 months including walking boot)is pretty rough also, the lack of blood flow to the ankle&foot and getting the tendons and muscle back to where they were just takes time.Of course everyone heals a little different just be sure to load up on calcium and patience.

Didn't even want to hear the 6-7 months part. Doc said I couldn't have a rod because the lower part of the tib had a vertical fracture and it would not hold the rod. I really didn't want the operation either. Broke my ankle 18 months ago and had to have screws and a plate put in. Survived the broken ankle but the anesthetic for the surgery damn near killed me. I'm 54 so I can probably add some time to that.

I had a proximal fibula fracture and a distal tibia fracture, and trimalleolar ankle fracture in April of 1999. This was when I crashed my pig of a bike (damn XR650L!), and my left foot was pointing about 90 degrees out to the side. Surgery took 3 hours, and left me with two screws in the left ankle to hold it all together. Two weeks after the accident I met a wonderful woman who happened to be a physical therapist. She helped me get on my feet. Seven weeks from the date of the accident I was back to work. I was 31 years old at the time. I limped for a few months, but I was riding inside of two months from the date.

Needless to say, I was grateful to that physical therapist I met. I married her. :)

I just broke my fib about a week ago and I have no idea how long this will last. Im on my first cast which has to come off in about a week for a new Yamaha Blue one.Im 40 years old and .. well this does suck. I have 2 sprained ankles and a bruised rib too. Man I love riding but I have to be honest with myself about my age. Im just not 17 anymore... And yes this comes as a shock to me. for the last 23 years I thought I was. Eye opener as I have never really been hurt at all riding for a long time. I am a single dad and have to cool it.

I broke mine 11 years ago, I was only 29 at the time but I though I'd throw out a good story. It broke inside a brand new pair of AXO boots, it was clean but the boots were so stiff that it stayed in place. I wouldn't let them cut the boot so they pulled it out(I doubt you'd find a paramedic that would do that today). I had a full cast, started walking on crutches within a few days and puttin weight on it after a couple of weeks. Originally they told me 3-4 months in a cast, I think I was out in 7 or 8 weeks. I rode within 3 or 4 months but still favor that leg in the air to this day not for any good reason, I just started doing it and never stopped.

It's funny how the paramedics always want to cut everything off!

When i broke my leg the first time , i also took off my own boot ! They were getting ready to cut off my boot as well as cutting my pants! I told them to back-off , i'll take off my own boot! I also drove home with my wife following me in her own car, then got in with her to go to the er. The 2nd time i broke the same leg , i left my boot on to keep it from swollen up! When i got home i carefully removed it for the trip to the er again :) They must think our boots & pants are cheap


You should really keep this as an individual decision between you and your doctor.

The complications involving the nature of the break, your health and desire to recover will all dramatically effect when it's safe to ride.

At best, I hope you don't smoke and have a steady habit of good nutrition and exercise.

Lastly, unless you have been intimate with the medical industry, you'll need to understand that not all doctors, procedures and processes are equal. There are always alternatives.

So, if your drive and mindset tells you that 6-8 months is unacceptable, you may want to seek some options to your initial answers.



Guess we're about in the same boat since I broke mine last saturday. Let's see who can get out of the cast first. I have a full leg cast now but they said that could be cut down to just a lower leg cast in 3-4 weeks. Decisions, Decisions. I thought I would never ride again after a broken ankle but did and enjoyed it for a year before this. I'm addicted to the adrenal rush I get from sitting on that starting line. I don't smoke but I think quitting motocross for me is just like someone trying to quit smoking.

Ironic I sit at my desk with my left leg elevated!

I'm 31 and had my ankle hardware installed on the 9th of this month. I get the staples removed and hard cast installed tomorrow (jan 16). I tried to upgrade to the Ti bolt kit, but they did not take stainless it is. The prognosis is a cast for another 6 wks and crutches for a total of 2-3 months. He said I'd be back on in about 5 mos. I plan on riding the street bikes shortly after getting the cast off just to get the movements back.

The xrays & injury can be seen at if you want to check similarities:

My wife is a little pissed as we had our first child on the 20th of December!!!


'00 YZ426F

'00.5 Aprilia Mille R

'97 Honda Valkyrie

Sorry to hear about your bad luck, especially at the first race! As for me, I spiral fractured both my fibula, an tibula in three places back in '00. I was in those cast's forever! Every two weeks, they would cut one off, and put a new one back on. It was about 7/8 month's before I was out of those cast's for good. But then you have some major therapy ahead of you too. And do it!!! It will pay big dividends later on. Other than that, I took a year off for financial reasons, and returned once again. I always like to say "MX might be difficult, but not as difficult as quitting!" Maniac :)

not being rude, but it is Tibia, not Tibula! lower extremity breaks in patients over 35 take longer to heal unless the patient was in very good physical conditon prior to the injury. expect most of your recovery time to be getting your muscle strength back and your flexibility will probably never come back to normal...but if you want something bad enough, you just have to work harder at it now than when you did when you were 20-something. for instance, look down at your gut....was it there at 20? :)

good luck with the recovery!


Hey, your right - TibIA and FibULA. I guess I just assumed since one ended in "ula" so did the other. Should have just stuck with tib and fib.

Sorry to hear about your accident, I did a compound fracture of my tib and fib on friday oct 20 2000 at 3:00.(hows that for remembering)I had external fixation put on my leg and it healed up perfectly. My leg feels as if it was never broke, I was 36 years old at the time I am 38 now and never had any pain.Go to GNC and get calcium with magneisium in it. This suppliment will help you heal faster. I shattered my bone into 4 pieces and it came out of the skin, my friends cut my boot off in the emergency room. The dopey nurse wanted to try and pull off my tight fitting fox formas off. I told her no because there was only soft tissue holding my foot onto my leg and she would have done alot of soft tissue damage. So I had a external fixation device put on my leg for two months, then a cast for 1 month.I was walking in three months total, and was riding in 5 months but I didn`t start racing for 7 months. The only good thing that came out of it was I dated the x-ray girl for 2 months and she came over my house every other day for my rehab. Did you ever try to get layed with one leg holding you up.I became really good with balancing on one leg. Good luck with your leg and go to GNC and get the Cacium with Magnesium suppliment.

Bornagain, its gonna be 6 months. But you could shorten that with a serious vitamin regimen. Your growth hormone levels drop drastically after the age of about 27. You could start an herbal GHG stimulator regimen too. I did. It helped a ton. I got over 3 broken ribs in about 3 weeks. And Im 40+. Check this stuff out, youve got nothing better to do, do ya? Herbal HGH enhancers

Ive been taking this stuff for a couple months. I dont get anywhere near as sore as I used to and I last a heck of a lot longer, in all kinds of different ways :)

Ya that too :D

Bornagain, Broke my tib and fib into 17 pieces @ age 40, they couldn't do a rod and all Dr. opinions said to ride it out in a cast....had a non-union going for two months...7 months total in casts. There's two sides to casts vs surgery...While healing had a friend break his leg skiing in Montana and got operated on in a brand new operating room....he died from an operating room apparently wasn't sterile. Best of luck to ya.

I've done it a few times. I'm currently 45 and, yes, you don't heal like you did when you were 20. Your body will tell you what you are ready for and what you're not. Eat and rest well, excercise as your condition permits. Always try just a little bit more than your doctor recommends but pay attention to the feedback your body gives you. Internal fixation allows a little more mobility while healing, which helps. Find a way you can get your heart/respiration rate up occasionally within the limits of your mobility. I usually started riding (easy) soon after removal of casts/splints. Again, be careful. It's extremely hard to convince your doctor you appreciate his help when you're back on his table before the last one heals. 10-12 weeks has been my experience. 8 is usually the goal to return to pretty significant activity. And remember, "that which does not kill us makes us stronger". Good luck.

My son 'Blew up' his ankle January 02. Three surgeries, 13 screws and 3 plates. 4 months on crutches, lots of therapy and was given the go ahead to start full activity in September. Truthfully he is still less than 100%. Had the 3rd surgery to cleanup problem scar tissue. Ruined his HS wrestling and baseball career.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now