Ankle fractures are very common. The bones in our ankles take a lot of stress from daily life in general.
When fractures happen, they may slow us down, but we recover at a fairly quick pace.
CAUSES Patients always have a great story to tell when they come in with an ankle fracture: a motorcycle accident, falling down the stairs while carrying a cake, stepping off the curb on vacation. Whatever your story, our goal is to get you back on your feet, providing a positive ending to the tale.
DIAGNOSIS Visual inspection and x-rays are the most common tools for diagnosis. Sometimes a bone scan may be ordered to look at the depth of a fracture. SYMPTOMS Common symptoms for a broken ankle include immediate swelling and severe pain, bruising and tenderness. You may not be able to put any weight on the injured foot. The ankle may look out of place or dislocated.
NONSURGICAL TREATMENT If the ankle is stable, meaning the broken bone is not out of place, Dr. Smith may be able to use a number of non-surgical methods to aid in healing. The type of treatment required might also be based on where the bone is broken. Several different methods are used for protecting the fracture while it heals, ranging from a high-top tennis shoe to a short leg cast. Some people are able to bear weight on their leg right away, while others need to wait 6 weeks or so for healing.
SURGICAL TREATMENT If the fracture is out of place or your ankle is unstable, your fracture may need to be treated with surgery. Dr. Smith can reposition the bone fragments into their normal alignment. They are held together with special screws and metal plates attached to the outer surface of the bone. In some cases, a screw or rod inside the bone may be used to keep the bone fragments together while they heal. Dr. Smith is an advanced specialist in foot and ankle surgery and can help you make the best decisions about your surgical care.