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Ankle Fractures – Everything You Should Know

Fractures are among the commonest orthopedic injuries that are reported around the globe. The causes of such conditions could be traumatic or non-traumatic. Based on the causes, the severity of the condition can be accessed. One of the commonest locations where fractures can be seen is the ankle joint.

Located in the lower extremity, the ankle joint is one of the weight-bearing joints in our body, and hence, fractures are common at this joint. Though most fractures occurring in this joint can be fixed with non-surgical methods, surgery may be the best and only option for the most severe cases like displaced fractures or open fractures.

Surgery makes use of orthopedic devices to get the best results. For that, it is important to find high-quality orthopedic products manufacturers. In this post, our focus will be on discussing fractures affecting the ankle in detail. Let us start with a brief introduction to this condition.

Ankle Fractures – An Overview

The ankle joint is among the most critical joints in our body that bears body weight. It is formed by three major bones including the tibia, fibula, and talus. Any of these bones can break when an ankle fracture occurs, and this decides the severity of the condition.

If an ankle fracture occurs as a stress fracture, it can be hard to diagnose. There are multiple causes of the condition where the severity will vary. Below are the commonest causes of ankle fractures.

Causes of Ankle Fractures

A direct high-energy impact on the ankle joint is the commonest cause of severe ankle fractures that may be highly displaced, comminuted, or open. Such impacts can occur due to car or motorbike accidents.

Athletes are also prone to getting stress ankle fractures due to continuous and repetitive use of the joint for long periods. Such a condition could also occur when someone tries to do exercise involving the ankle joint more than his/her capacity.

Sportspeople are also at the risk of developing such a condition during sudden direction changes while running and twisting the ankle. Besides this, falling on the ankle may also break the joint.

Symptoms of Ankle fractures

Pain is the commonest symptom in all fractures, and hence, the pain will also be experienced around the ankle when the ankle joint breaks. Swelling is also associated with this type of fracture along with bruising.

If the condition is serious, deformity around the displaced ankle joint will also be noticed. The person suffering from the condition will also find it difficult to walk without pain or become unable to walk at all.

Diagnosis of Ankle Fractures

The first step during the diagnosis is the physical examination where the healthcare service provider identifies swelling & bruising around the injured ankle.

To notice painful areas and movements causing pain, the ankle will be manipulated by asking the patient to move it in different directions. Imaging tests are also ordered to confirm that ankle fracture is there.

The tests ordered may include x-ray, CT scan, MRI, and stress test.

Treatment of Ankle Fractures

The treatment always depends upon the exact location and the severity of the fracture.

Non-surgical treatments are feasible to fix mild and moderate cases where the broken bone is in place. Such fractures can be fixed with the application of a short leg cast to immobilize the fractured site while allowing it to heal.

Along with this, the healthcare service provider also prescribes medicines to improve pain and inflammation. After some time, physical therapy will also be suggested to improve joint function and strength.

If the condition is severe or the above-mentioned treatment methods cannot relieve the condition, surgery will be recommended for open reduction and internal fixation. This process requires special orthopedic tools and instruments.

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