Bone and Ankle Fractures

Bone and ankle fractures (breaks) are a risk when there is a trauma, or injury. The ankle bones are commonly fractured and may need surgery to restore the anatomical alignment if they are displaced. Fractures can range from less serious avulsion injuries (small piece of bone pulled off) to severe shattering-type fractures of the bones and dislocations.

There are many foot fractures which are easily missed when they occur and careful assessment is mandatory if long term consequences are to be avoided. Probably the best example of this is the “Lisfranc” injury of the midfoot. This is essentially a ligament injury but often associated with a tiny fracture not seen on conventional x-rays. A failure to detect this injury at the outset can lead to severe pain and deformity in the long term.

When a bone is broken, there is usually severe pain and the individual has great difficulty bearing weight and often can not put the foot to the ground. Sometimes, however, patients are able to bear weight or even walk with a broken ankle or foot. This is why all foot and ankle injuries seen by a specialist in disorders of the foot and ankle.

As a general rule, broken bones tend to heal well. Most simple fractures do not require surgery but there are many foot and ankle injuries where surgery is necessary to enable a patient make a full recovery and avoid devastating long term consequences.

Summary

As there are so many structures in the foot and ankle that are at risk of being injured, it is important to seek early specialist advice. Often, the worst thing one can do with a significant “sprain” is to ignore it. Walking off the pain usually just doesn’t work and can reduce long term healing. With appropriate treatment, following foot and ankle injuries, it is possible to return to normal activities faster and long term problems can be prevented.

 

 

 

 

 

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