Can You Play Football If You Break Your Fibula?

Football player running under goal post with ball, portrait

As both an athletically demanding and contact sport, it is not recommended that you continue to play football with a fibula fracture. Located on the outer part of the lower leg, the fibula is the smaller of two shinbones. Though physical requirements vary for different positions, in general a football player needs to be able to safely move on his feet without the impediment of a serious or potentially serious injury.

Types of Fractures

Primarily, two main types of fractures occur with the fibula: stress and acute. A stress fracture is an overuse injury that tends to build up slowly and cause microscopic cracks. An acute fracture is usually the result of a sudden trauma and causes a full break in the bone. Repetitive movements combined with vigorous training can cause stress fractures to the fibula in football players. Treatment usually consists of rest for six to eight weeks, allowing the crack to heal.


During the 2012 Olympic games in London, USA runner Manteo Mitchell suffered a stress fracture to his fibula and continued to compete. His decision to do so was an exception; continuing to place pressure on such a fracture can cause the bone to fully break. Consult with your physician to determine the best way to care for your fibula fracture.