A fractured ankle is one of the most prevalent causes of ankle discomfort and occurs when one or more bones of the ankle joint shatter. Ankle fractures are addressed with open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery. In ORIF, your Alamo Heights podiatrist opens up the injured ankle and lines up the ends of your broken bones. Also, they might place metal plates, wires, or screws to stabilize the ankle bones while they heal.
Indicators of ankle fractures
It is not always clear whether discomfort in your ankle indicates a sprained or fractured ankle. And if your ankle is fractured, you will not know if you have broken more than one bone until your doctor examines it. If you have an ankle fracture, you may suffer the following symptoms:
- You have sudden, chronic pain in the ankle.
- You can’t put weight on the ankle.
- It hurts whenever you touch your ankle.
- Your ankle is swollen.
- Your ankle is bruised.
Treating ankle fractures
Ankle fracture treatment is determined by factors such as the number of shattered ankle bones. Although not all broken ankles need surgery, all broken ankles necessitate some care to recover. If you have a stress fracture, you generally won’t need surgery.
A brace or cast may be required to support your ankle while it heals. More severe ankle fractures need reduction or surgery. Reduction is the process by which health practitioners adjust your ankle to align the ends of your shattered bones. You will be administered local anesthesia to numb your ankle.
The duration it takes to recover from an ankle fracture surgery
Fractured ankles can take a long time to heal, depending on the extent of your damage. Most patients can put weight on their ankles within 16 weeks after surgery. However, an ankle fracture can take up to two years to recover entirely.
The distinction between a stress fracture and a bone fracture
When you injure your ankle, it might be difficult to determine if you have a stress fracture or a bone fracture. Stress fractures are little cracks in your bone. In general, you have a stress fracture if the discomfort in your ankle worsens with time. Conversely, a bone fracture occurs when a fracture alters the shape of your bone.
How to prevent ankle fracture
Many ankle fractures result from stressful events such as car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. However, a simple mistake while walking, stepping off a curb, or tripping over anything in your home might result in an ankle fracture. You may reduce this type of danger by doing the following:
- Walking with caution on uneven ground and near curbs.
- Get rid of the home clutter that causes you to trip and fall.
It is critical to note that resuming activities too fast might re-injure your fractured ankle. You may become annoyed or nervous while waiting for your ankle to recover. You should discuss your concerns with your healthcare practitioner.
They will also have suggestions and recommendations for programs and services that may be useful to you. Call Marque Allen, DPM, FACFAS, to schedule your consultation today to find out which ankle fracture treatments are ideal for you.