Ankle Fractures: Causes & Symptoms - Nasindependenceday

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Ankle Fractures: Causes & Symptoms

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Ankle Fractures (Broken Ankle)

A broken ankle is also called an ankle fracture. This signifies that one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken.

A fractured ankle can range from a simple break in one bone, which may not stop you from walking, to many fractures, which forces your ankle out of place and may need that you not put weight on it for a few months.
Simply put, the more broken bones, the more unstable the ankle becomes. There may be ligaments damaged as well. The ligaments of the ankle hold the ankle bones and joint in their place.

Broken ankles affect people of all age groups. During the past 30 to 40 years, doctors have noted rise in the number and severity of broken ankles, because of part to an active, older population of “baby boomers”.

Anatomy

The ankle joint comprises of three bones:
·         Tibia- shinbone
·         Fibula-smaller bone of the lower leg
·         Talus- a small bone that sits between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the fibula and tibia

The fibula and tibia have specific parts that make up the ankle:
·         Medial malleolus- inside part of the tibia
·         Posterior malleolus- back part of the tibia
·         Lateral malleolus- end of the fibula

Doctors categorize ankle fractures according to the area of bone hat is broken. For example, a fracture at the end of the fibula is called a lateral malleolus fracture, or if both the fibula and tibia are broken, it is called a bimalleolar fracture.

Two joints are involved in ankle fractures:

·         Ankle joint- where the fibula, tibia, and talus meet
·         Syndesmosis joint- the joint between the fibula and tibia, which is held together by ligaments

Multiple ligaments help to stabilize the ankle joint.

Causes

·         Rotating or twisting your ankle
·         Rolling your ankle
·         Falling or tripping
·         Impact during a car accident



Symptoms

Because a severe ankle sprain can feel similar as a broken ankle, every ankle injury should be evaluated by a physician.

Common symptoms for a broken ankle include:

·         Immediate and severe pain
·         Swelling
·         Bruising
·         Tender to touch
·         Can’t put any weight on the injured foot
·         Deformity (“out of place”), specifically if the ankle joint is dislocated as well

Doctor Examination

Medical History and Physical Examination

After discussing your medical history, symptoms, and how the injury occurred, your doctor will do a careful examination of your foot, lower leg, and ankle.

Imaging Tests

If your doctor suspects an ankle fracture, he or she will order some more tests to provide more information about your injury.

X-rays- X-rays are the most common and widely available technique of diagnostic imaging. X-rays can show the bone is broken or not and whether there is displacement (the gap between broken bones). They can also show how many parts of bone there are. X-rays may be taken of the ankle, foot, and leg to make sure nothing else is injured.

Stress test- Depending on the kind of ankle fracture, the doctor may put pressure on the ankle and a special x-ray, called a stress test. This x-ray is done to see if certain ankle fractures need surgery. The surgery is performed using orthopedic implants and surgical instruments which are provided by orthopedic instruments manufacturers.

Computed tomography (CT) scan- This scan can create a cross-section image of the ankle and is sometimes done to further assess the ankle injury. It is especially useful when the fracture extends into the ankle joint.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan- These tests provide high resolution images of both soft tissues like, ligaments and bones. For some ankle fractures, an MRI scan may be done to assess the ankle ligaments.
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