Ankle Fracture Surgery in Boise
The ankle is a complex joint made up of three bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus. The joint is protected by a capsule filled with synovial fluid which enables the smooth movement the joint requires.
Ankle injuries are very common among people of all ages. Ankle fractures are common among professional and amateur athletes to weekend DIYers working on home projects. An ankle fracture includes a break in one or more of the three bones that make up the joint.
Causes of Ankle Fractures
Ankle fractures typically occur from excessive rolling and twisting of the ankle. It is commonly seen because of an athlete jumping and landing on an uneven surface, such as another player’s foot. For non-athletic related injuries, it can be as simple as stepping off a curb or stepping into a hole or ditch causing the ankle to roll excessively.
When an ankle fracture occurs, there is immediate swelling and pain around the ankle, along with impaired mobility. In severe fractures, a deformity around the ankle joint is clearly visible.
Proper diagnosis of the ankle injury begins with a physical examination, followed by X-rays and CT scan of the injured area. Unless the fracture is severe enough to cause a deformity of the joint, it is very difficult to differentiate a broken ankle from other related injuries without this type of imagery. In some cases a stress test is performed prior to taking X-rays. This test is used to check the stability of the fracture and help the surgeon determine if surgery is necessary or not. In more complex cases, where a detailed evaluation of the ligaments is necessary, an MRI is also typically recommended.
Surgical Treatment of Ankle Fractures
When the injury dictates that surgery is required the fractured bone is accessed by making an incision over the ankle area. At this point the surgeon will use specially designed plates and screws to realign and stabilize the fracture. The incision is then closed, and the operated ankle is immobilized with a splint or cast to protect the joint during the healing process.
After ankle surgery, you will receive detailed instructions from your surgeon. Typically, you will need to avoid putting weight on your ankle six weeks or so. Again, every case is different, and your surgeon will give you specific details for your situation.
Your surgeon will recommend a course of physical therapy to further assist in the healing process. Once this is complete, you should be able to return to your normal daily activities. The time needed to return to normal will vary depending on many factors!
Make an Appointment to See an Ankle Specialist in Boise
If you have fractured your ankle, be sure to schedule an appointment with an ankle specialist in Boise. Dr. Flint of The Flint Foot and Ankle Institute is a foot and ankle specialist, along with being a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Flint and his team will help you every step of the way, whether surgery is required or not.