Ankle fracture along with broken foot is a very common injury which may be a result of a vehicle accident, a misstep, tripping, and excessive weight on the ankle or other sudden movement. Though these are common issues, the pain, fracture or disjoints involved disturb the course of life. The intensity of the fractures varies from small cracks in the bones to serious breaks that cut through the skin.
Did you know: the hyperactive nature of children and young people, increased patronage of exercise, and an increase in aging population have increased the incidence of ankle and foot injuries.
The incidence of fractures among men and women is marginally different, though more young men may be prone to fractures and injuries owing to lifestyle and other factors. The most common type of fracture is malleolar fracture that affects malleolus. Ankle fractures are considered stable or unstable based on the effect on ligaments and its location. This also determines whether ankle fracture fixation is needed.
Open reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF) is the surgical procedure to repair ankles with fractures and bring them back to normalcy. When an ankle fracture occurs and it is beyond the means of medication or conventional methods such as casts, the orthopaedic surgeon will prescribe surgical fixation. At such a stage, the symptoms are severe and include terrible pain, swelling, bruising and tenderness, deformity and challenges in walking and moving etc.
If the swelling and symptoms do not subside despite other treatments for more than two weeks, it is important to consult a surgeon and obtain advice about ORIF surgery.
Ankle fracture Open Reduction and Internal Fixation is a surgical procedure that is done to fix the broken ankle and restore it to its normal state to allow it to heal in its natural position. Though various medical treatments are available for ankle fracture fixation, surgery is considered most effective and has to be prescribed by the doctor based on several factors and prevailing condition of the patient.
For the ankle fracture fixation procedure, plates, rods or metal screws are implanted into the broken bone to fix it to the normal position during healing. Once the orthopedic surgeon who conducts the surgery believes that normalcy has been restored, these implants are removed.
The surgery is done for a few hours or sometimes for a considerable period of time owing to the seriousness of the fracture. Ankle fracture fixation surgery is done under general anesthesia.
Incisions are made to the skin above the fracture and the skin and muscle will be pulled back to access the broken bones
Once the broken bone is set, the openings are closed with stitches and put in casts.
Emergency conditions for ankle fixation surgery include open fracture and severe dislocations.
Numbness and skin discoloration may occur and the patient should look out for this and inform the doctor.
Ankle fracture fixation can be a day surgery
Tests including X ray are taken a day in advance to ascertain the exact condition
Medical reports are required to be shared with the doctor
The orthopedic surgeon may recommend fasting a day before the surgery
Be well prepared with attendants you may require post-surgery
Tell the doctor about recent injuries, your physical activity and symptoms
The recovery time may vary from four to eight weeks depending upon the intensity of the fracture
After the surgery overnight stay may be required
Pain, swelling and stiffness in movement are experienced for a few days. Consult the doctor and adopt some home remedies like icing and resting for quick recovery
Pain killers can be used only upon doctor’s prescription
Be careful with the stitches and staples
Myths about ankle fracture surgery
You don’t need immediate medical attention if the ankle is fractured: No, if the treatment is neglected it may complicate the situation leading to severe pain, swelling and mobility issues Pain after surgery is longstanding and unmanageable: No, with modern surgical and post-surgical care, pain subsides quickly
The ankle joins foot and the leg
Tibia, fibula and talus are three ankle bones
Ankle fracture is one of the most common cricket injuries
Shahrukh Khan has regularly fractured his ankle
It is no coincidence, but the word ankle is closely linked to the word angle and it indeed forms an angle between the leg and the foot.