The most commonly-reported causes of fibula pain are calf strain, varicose veins, and bone fractures. More serious causes include osteomas, which are abnormal outgrowths of bone tissue, and osteomyelitis, an infection with bacterial and fungal origins. With the exception of calf strain, all causes might require surgery for treatment; these cases are considered extremely rare in comparison to muscle strain, however, and have solutions outside of surgery.
Most cases of fibula pain result from overexertion of the calf, usually through strenuous physical activity. Minor calf strains, often referred to as grade one strains, cause mild discomfort in the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the lower leg, but have negligible effects on the fibula. When the strain reaches grades two and three, however, the two muscle groups begin to swell and apply pressure on the bones, causing fibula pain. Patients suffering from fibula pain due to calf strain can remedy the condition by keeping the area rested, compressed, and elevated. Patients can also use ice or anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling.
Varicose veins occur when veins become twisted and engorged with blood, usually as a result of congenital defects, abnormal blood clotting, or extreme amounts of physical pressure. Patients might experience fibula pain if the veins near the bone begin to swell. Varicose veins can usually be remedied by alleviating strain on the affected areas, or through noninvasive methods of ablation. In severe cases, doctors might recommend removal of the affected veins altogether.
The fibula can fracture as a result of immense physical impact or accumulated stress. Individuals who experience excruciating amounts of fibula pain might be suffering from stress fractures, especially if they regularly engage in intense physical activity. Fractures most often happen near the knee bones, although midshaft injuries can also occur. Although most fractures can heal with realignment and immobilization of the lower leg, severe fractures might require surgical repair.
Osteomas are usually benign growths and cause no symptoms, but they might cause fibula pain if allowed to grow large enough. Patients usually do not need to have osteomas treated, but might opt to have the growths surgically removed if the discomfort is significant. Cancerous tumors also cause patients pain and should immediately be treated through either therapy or surgical removal.
Osteomyelitis occurs when bacteria or fungi enter bones through nearby infections, direct contact, or transmission through the bloodstream. In most cases, the infection can be eliminated through antibiotic medication. In the event that the infection develops an abscess in the fibula, the bone will need to be surgically drained and cleansed. If the infection develops to a point where the bone tissue is severely damaged, the infected portions of bone might need to be surgically removed.