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Ankle Fracture Management

An ankle fracture occurs as a result of an injury to the bone that may occur due to a sudden twist as a result of sports or a direct blow to the ankle. Treating a fracture depends on the site of the injury as well as the type of fracture. A fractured ankle is either stable or unstable. After fracturing the ankle, immediate pain follows. Swelling, bruising, tenderness around the ankle and bone deformity accompanies ankle pain.

An ankle or foot fracture can occur in one or more bones and involve the tibia, the fibula and the talus. Open ankle reduction and internal fixation is a procedure that is performed in order to stabilise a broken bone to attain anatomical reduction and prevent future arthritis in the ankle joint. Usually, screws, plates and rods are a means to stabilise the ankle after a severe fracture. During the procedure, I will carefully reduce the bones so that they are in the correct position. When the bones have been aligned properly, the fragments are connected with the help of metal screws and plates. In most cases, surgery is only performed once any swelling around the injury has subsided. Post-operative immobilisation and elevation are imperative.

Non-surgical treatments involve elevating the injured ankle, applying ice for at least fifteen minutes from time to time and keeping the ankle in a soft bandage and immobilisation will promote healing of the fracture. In addition, over the counter medicine treats pain and minimises ankle discomfort.

Once the bone unites, ankle rehabilitation can start to regain mobility. In the interim, the ankle will be immobilised. Other conservative treatments for a non-displaced ankle fracture include bracing, cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory medication.

FAQ

Ankle pain and swelling are the most common signs of an ankle fracture. Pain and swelling may even spread to other parts of the ankle. In addition, the pain intensifies as you put more pressure on the injured foot, which indicates instability.

Yes, according to a large Canadian study, a spectrum of pain ranging from minimal to moderate can last up to 1-year.

Cortisol, a hormone that has an anti-inflammatory response, drops during the night. As a result, damage to the bone and pain intensifies at night due to the lack of the natural body anti-inflammatory.

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