mobility aids for broken ankle
However, it can be very difficult to distinguish between a broken ankle, a sprain, and a bad twist when you are in the moment of the pain. After all, the ankle is a complex joint that forms where three bones come together.
The bones of the lower leg, the tibia and the fibula, are above the joint, and the talus is below the joint. If the doctor tells you that you have an ankle fracture, he or she is usually talking about a broken bone of the tibia or fibula.
The tibia, also known as the shin bone, is the larger, weight-bearing bone of the lower leg. Of the weight transferred through the leg, about ninety percent is carried by the tibia.
The fibula is the smaller bone on the outside of the leg. It only carries about ten percent of your body weight. Both the tibia and the fibula wrap around the talus and makeup the joint of the ankle.
If you are unfortunate enough to have an actual break occur, the injury may be to the end of the tibia, or to the fibula, or both. There are a few different types of ankle fractures.
There is no way to blanket treat an injury. Each one of must evaluated and treated individually.
If you feel like you have a problem, do not try to treat the problem on your own. Be sure to seek professional care right away.
If you are not sure if you have a break or not, the common symptoms include pain to the touch, swelling, an inability to walk, bruising, and a deformity around the ankle. If these symptoms are part of what you are feeling, go to a doctor or to the emergency room right away.
The doctor can take an x-ray of the area, to further asses any damage to the bone. After all, it may end up being an ankle sprain, or even an Achilles tendon rupture.
Once it has been determined that you have a true fracture, the doctor can decide how they want to move forward from that point. Each injury is completed individual.
Swelling is almost universally seen following a broken ankle. An important part of treatment of an ankle fracture is to minimize your swelling.
Limiting swelling will help control the pain from the ankle fracture and minimize the damage to the surrounding tissues. Splinting a fracture is commonly performed in the emergency room.
A splint is often done for a few days, followed by a cast. The splint will allow more room than a cast, and in a cast there can be continued swelling.
A splint can be put on if the area is not badly displaced.. If there is displacement, a “reduction” may be performed.
If the area needs to be reset, you may need to be given anesthesia while they do so. A cast is usually placed on after a few days, unless the swelling is minimal and it may be done early on in the process.
A cast is made either of plaster or fiberglass. Plaster molds to the skin better, and is preferred if the cast is needed to hold the broken bone in a specific place.
If the fracture is not unstable, or if some healing has taken place, a fiberglass cast may be used. The fiberglass is lighter weight and more resilient to wear, thus more comfortable for you.
The use of crutches is important, because almost all types of ankle fractures will require some level of immobilization and rest following the injury. Sometime, patients will not be able to place any weight on the leg for several months.
Sometimes it only takes days to weeks to be able to walk comfortably. Determining when you can place weight on the break depends on the specific type of fracture.
This will have to be discussed with your doctor, as they will know what your capabilities are. In some cases, surgery may be needed.
The need for surgery depends on the appearance of the ankle joint on X-ray and the type of ankle fracture present. Arthritis is common after an ankle fracture, and the best way to reduce the risk of arthritis is to obtain a normal looking joint.
Talk to your doctor if you feel this may be the case with you. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be back on your treadmill in a few weeks.