Foot and ankle fractures are incredibly common and can lead to long-term health issues and disability if they’re not addressed quickly. This is why it’s important to remedy these issues as soon as you suspect they may have occurred. Below, we cover our top ankle fracture treatments.
Top Ankle Fracture Treatments
There are a variety of different methods available in the medical world for helping to repair the various types of fractures that can occur in the ankle. Many of these methods are intended to address certain types of fractures. Here’s a list of some of the most common treatments available for ankle fractures.
Types of Ankle Fractures
There are several different types of ankle fractures that are possible. Much of this has to do with the complex nature of the ankles and feet, which are comprised of many different bones. Still, some of the most common types of fractures include:
- Comminuted fracture: In this fracture, the bone is broken into more than two pieces
- Intra-articular fracture: The break in the ankle extends into the joint
- Extra-articular fracture: The break in the ankle does not extend into the joint
- Open fracture: The fracture breaks the skin
Diagnosis of an ankle fracture typically takes place using a variety of tests. Some of these include:
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound
- Weight-bearing CT scan
- CT scans
Mild Fracture Treatments
Some mild fractures do not require invasive surgery to fix. Many of these fractures respond well to at-home treatments. Some of the following could prove useful:
- Ice: Icing the problem area for 20 minutes at a time can help with swelling and inflammation
- Rest: Resting and staying off of your injury can help you heal faster.
- Compression: Swelling can be partially controlled by wrapping the injured area.
- Elevation: Keeping your foot and ankle raised slightly above the level of your heart can help to reduce inflammation.
Ankle Fracture Fixation Surgery
Orthopedic surgery is almost always required in the case of more serious fractures. Additionally, what type of surgery your situation requires depends on the nature of your fracture. In an ankle fracture fixation surgery, reconstructive surgery is applied in order to move broken bones back into place after severe misalignment.
Sometimes this requires the use of pins, screws, plates, and bone grafts. Still, the necessity of the surgery changes from place to place.
Non-Union Ankle Fracture Surgery
Non-union is a term that refers to broken bones that do not heal properly. Treatment for these fractures can involve a few different things, including affixing bone grafts in order to stimulate bone growth.
Additionally, vascularized bone grafts allow living bone tissue to be attached to damaged bone tissue.
Foot and Ankle Reduction Surgery
This is a type of surgery that realigns displacement in your feet and ankles. Bone grafting is also often utilized in this procedure, as is reconstructive soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons. Plates, screws, and pins are also employed in order to realign bone tissue.
Recovering From Foot and Ankle Surgery
It typically takes a few months for one to completely recover from foot and ankle surgery. Each recovery case is different, however, so you’ll have to discuss with your physician what your exact recovery case might look like.
It is important to keep in mind that even if you are not actively experiencing pain from your ankle fracture anymore, you should still apply caution towards overusing this part of the body. This is due to the fact that sensitive, fractious injury might still be in the process of healing in this part of your body. Failure to do so can result in additional injury.
In the case of some more intense fractures, physical therapy may be necessary to resume normal movements after the more abrupt course of healing has taken place. Still, your surgeon will likely refer you to a physical therapist, should this prove the case.
Diagnosing Your Fracture
Before any surgical work is done, your physician will diagnose the exact nature of the fracture you’re dealing with and create a surgical plan to execute to repair the damage. Following the instructions of your physician in all cases is essential to ensuring that your recuperation period goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.
The Foot Doctor of Choice for Los Angeles
Jamfeet Foot and Ankle Doctor has a passionate team of surgeons and physicians ready to serve the population of Los Angeles. If you’re worried that you have incurred an ankle fracture of some kind, contact our office in Los Angeles today to schedule an appointment to diagnose your situation.