A fracture is a partial or complete break in a bone. Fractures in the ankle can range from stable, less severe injuries to unstable injuries involving the tibia and/or fibula. Fractures include: Distal fibula or tibia avulsion fractures (typically treated non-operatively), Stable fibula fractures (typically treated non-operatively), Bimalleolar fractures (typically treated with surgery), trimalleolar fractures (typically treated with surgery), Dislocated fractures (typically treated with surgery), Tibia plafond fractures (typically treated with surgery).
Ankle fractures are the most common bone fractures and are often caused an indirect injury by the ankle rolling inward or outward or by direct trauma (i.e. motor vehicle accident, motorcycle crash, industrial injury)
- Pain at the site of the fracture
- Significant swelling, which may occur along the length of the leg or may be more localized
- Blisters may occur over the fracture site
- Bruising that develops soon after the injury
- Inability to walk (it is possible to walk with less severe breaks)
- Change in the appearance of the ankle
Following evaluation by the emergency department or urgent care it is important to have the ankle evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The affected limb will be examined by the foot and ankle surgeon by touching specific areas to evaluate the injury. In addition, the surgeon may order additional x-rays and other imaging studies (i.e. CT scan, MRI), as necessary to further delineate the fracture pattern or for operative planning.