Broke-o Fibula-to Demi Lovato

Delivering bad news - it’s the part of this job that I hate the most.  And today it’s bad news for Camp Rock 4.  Our favorite Disney and X Factor teen star, Demi Lovato, has sustained an injury to her right fibula.  The celebrity gossip mills are characteristically reticent on the mechanism of injury, all we know at this time is what my second favorite Demi tweeted via her Twitter account: “Never, ever, ever, EVER let your roommate clean your hardwood floors with Pledge…” Sage advice, indeed.  Let’s talk about that injury in theory.

Based on the tweeted photo of Ms. Lovato in a CAM walker, it appears that the injury was treated non-surgically.  As stated many times previously, the ankle is the most commonly injured joint of the body, and ankle sprains are all too common.  This usually happens after a twisting motion while slipping off a curb, during a sporting event, or walking on a freshly Pledged floor.  As the foot remains planted, the leg twists, thereby straining the ligaments.  If there is enough rotational force, the torqueing motion is transmitted through the fibula, which is the bone on the outside of the ankle, and the bone breaks, usually in an oblique pattern.

So how is this treated?

If there is significant displacement of the fracture fragments, then the injury can be treated by surgically realigning the pieces and holding it together with a series of screws and a plate.  Ouch.  Sounds worse than it is, and this will usually progress to full recovery.  Of course as with any fracture close to a joint there is the possibility of post traumatic arthritis in the long term.  If the fracture fragments are already well aligned and stable, then the injury can be treated in a fracture boot, much like the kind Tweeted by my daughter’s favorite Camp Rock star (thanks a whole lot, Netflix).  As with most musculoskeletal injuries, the body wants to heal, and we just have to enable it to do so by minimizing the motion around the fracture.  This is accomplished simply and elegantly through the use of said fracture boot.

So, Demi, very sorry to hear about the injury.  Please recover soon and fully, my young Sophia eagerly anticipates Camp Rock 4.  How many times can one little girl possibly watch the first three installments??

See you in the office.

Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson

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