What Should I Expect From Ankle Fracture Surgery And Recovery
Your ankle fracture may not require surgery read more about that here. But if it does, here are a few things you should know.
How can I prepare for ankle fracture surgery?
First, the best thing to do is to minimize swelling by not walking on the ankle and by elevating your ankle. Decreased swelling helps control pain and aids the incision in healing.
Talk to your orthopedic surgeon about post-operative protocols. You also want to let your primary care physician know you are undergoing surgery, in case pre-operative testing needs to be completed. You may want to obtain items to help in your recovery, such as crutches, walker, knee scooter, and/or a shower chair.
What are surgical treatments for ankle fractures?
There are many different ways to surgically fix an ankle fracture. The orthopedic surgeons at Southwest Orthopedic Group individualize surgical care for ankle fractures based on the type of fracture and medical comorbidities.
Ankle fracture surgery is known as open reduction and internal fixation. In general, an incision is made on the outside of the ankle , and a plate with screws are used to stabilize the bone. If the medial ankle is also broken, a second incision is made on the inside of the ankle, and additional screws and/or a plate can be used. If there are any additional fracture fragments or ligament damage, they are also fixed at this time. The plate and screws can be stainless steel or titanium.
What are the risks of ankle fracture surgery?
What About Stress Fractures
A stress fracture is just what it sounds like a crack in the bone of the feet and ankles that results from repeated stress. That stress may come from overuse, such as pounding the pavement running, overtraining, or wearing improper shoes without enough heel and arch support.
Stress fractures lead to pain, swelling, and bruising of the ankle. If not properly treated, they can weaken the ankle joint, leaving you at a greater risk for developing more serious fractures.
What Can I Do To Prevent Ankle Fractures
Many ankle fractures happen after traumatic events such as motor vehicle accidents, falling or being injured playing sports.
But you can fracture your ankle simply by taking a misstep while walking, stepping off a curb or stumbling over something in your home. You can limit this kind of risk by:
- Taking extra care when walking on uneven surfaces and curbs.
- Eliminating clutter in your home that cause you to trip over and fall.
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What Causes A Stress Fracture In The Ankle
An ankle usually occurs some time after a person begins a new activity that involves significant impact of the foot, such as hiking, running or field sports. They can also occur in an active person who quickly increases their activity, for example when someone who is accustomed to jogging a few miles a week begins to train for a 26-mile marathon.
Stress fractures can occur in any of the three ankle bones, especially the tibia or fibula. They are also common in the navicular bone, which is separate from the ankle, but lies directly beneath the talus.
Treatment Options For Painful Ankle Conditions
The first thing that amateur and professional athletes should do is have any old ankle injury checked out by an experienced ankle surgeon before returning to vigorous physical activity. Treating an injury properly will help to minimize your chances of re-injury or other serious ankle problems.
Once you have been examined, your doctor may recommend that you undergo physical therapy before beginning the regular activity. If necessary, you may need to have a surgical repair completed to ensure that the previous injury does not cause severe problems. This is especially true for peroneal tendon tears.
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Can You Sue For Nerve Damage From Surgery
If your nerve damage was caused by a botched or failed surgery, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Oftentimes nerve problems after surgery resolve on their own, but sometimes the damage is more severe and will cause lifelong issues. This is when you may want to explore filing a lawsuit.
Old Ankle Sprains Can Cause Trouble Years Later
Many adults who sprained their ankles when they were younger could be at risk for more serious damage as they age and try to stay active. Its important to get your ankles checked for chronic instability caused by old injuries.
According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, it is estimated that one in four sports injuries involves the foot or ankle. A majority of them occur because previous injuries did not heal properly.
An untreated ankle sprain may lead to persistent discomfort and a giving way of the ankle. Weakness in the leg may also develop.
Pain isnt normal in the ankle, even if youre just getting back into shape.
Swelling is another symptom that those who were previously injured may experience. Both amateur and professional athletes often underestimate how serious a sprain can be. And they often rush back into their sport without taking time to rehabilitate the injury properly.
A sprain that happened years ago can leave residual weakness that isnt noticed in normal daily activity. Rigorous physical activity can further damage improperly healed ligaments and cause persistent pain and swelling.
For anyone hoping to regain past physical fitness, its recommended that you have that old ankle injury checked out before becoming active again.
For more information about ankle sprains or to schedule an appointment to have your ankles examined, contact Wentz Foot & Ankle Specialists at 719-539-6600.
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Does A Fracture Still Hurt After Its Healed
Chronic pain after the healing is complete
When you suffer a fracture, it will eventually heal and recover to the point that you no longer experience pain. Unfortunately, this does not happen for everyone. Some people may continue to experience pain long after the fracture and soft tissues have finished healing.
Nonunion Vs Delayed Union
When a bone fracture is untreated, it can result in either a nonunion or a delayed union. In the former case, the bone doesnt heal at all, which means that it will remain broken. As a result, swelling, tenderness, and pain will continue to worsen over time.
Delayed unions are bone fractures that take longer to heal than usual. In most cases, though, patients can make a full recovery, although there can also be complications, depending on how well the bone was set.
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Exercises After An Ankle Fracture: Stay Strong In A Boot
The common concerns are that you will be lop-sided and create asymmetries/imbalances if you only train your other leg. That is false! If anything training your other leg can lead to something called the crossover effect, helping to maintain the size and strength of your other leg! This is a crucial part of what to do after an ankle fracture.
Can An Ankle Sprain Cause A Broken Ankle
A sprained ankle happens when you stretch or damage your ankle ligaments through overuse or injury. Think of a piece of elastic thats been through one too many cycles in the washer and dryer. You can have an ankle sprain because you have a broken ankle, but a sprained ankle won’t cause your ankle to break.
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How Are Ankle Fractures Treated
Ankle fracture treatment depends on factors such as the number of ankle bones broken. Not all broken ankles require surgery, but all broken ankles require some level of care to heal.
You probably won’t need surgery if you have a stress fracture. You might need a brace or cast to support your ankle while it heals. More serious ankle fractures require reduction or surgery.
Reduction is when healthcare providers manipulate your ankle to line up the ends of your broken bones. Youll receive local anesthesia to numb your ankle.
How Long Is The Recovery Time For A Broken Ankle
The typical broken or fractured ankle recovery time can be entirely dependent on how serious the break is, but in most cases this can last between 6 to 12 weeks. What type of fracture is suffered is separated according to which bone is damaged in the injury. In this section, we will discuss the common types of ankle fractures in accordance with their estimated recovery times.
Lateral Malleolus Fracture
This type of fracture is the fibula only. A fractured or broken fibula of this type is referred to as a Lateral Malleolus Fracture and is the most common type of break. This break can take up to 6 weeks to recover without surgery, however the broken ankle recovery time after surgery can be up to 12 weeks in certain cases.
Medial Malleolus Fracture
A break of this kind is the tibia only. This fracture is not as common as the Lateral Malleolus fracture and occurs on the end of the tibia bone. This injury usually results in the bone being displaced and is usually treated with surgery. Depending on the success of the surgery, healing could take from 6 to 12 weeks.
Bimalleolar Ankle Fractures
These breaks involve both the fibula and tibia bones. This type of fracture leads to a completely unstable ankle joint and needs extra care and attention to ensure it heals in a perfect position. This break will generally require surgery to ensure effective healing and could from 3 to 4 months to heal properly.
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A Guide To Broken Ankle Recovery Times
Broken Ankle Recovery Time
A broken or fractured ankle occurs when there is a partial or complete fracture in the ankle joint.
Broken ankles can be caused through putting excessive stress on the joint either through heavy impact or twisting it beyond its range of movement. Sometimes the symptoms of a broken or fractured ankle can be like that of a sprain.
It is important to seek medical advice to determine if you have a broken ankle or a sprain. Depending on the extent of the fracture, the broken ankle recovery time period could vary, but if the correct steps are taken, recovery could be more efficient and even take less time.
This guide will outline steps that could be taken to help aid and encourage recovery from a broken ankle. This guide will aim to provide you with as much information as you may need if you should experience a fractured or broken ankle, but should you need extra on hand support, contact us today.
If you would like to speak to an advisor from our expert team, call us today on the number at the bottom of this guide for more information.
What Can Slow Down The Broken Ankle Recovery Time
There are a variety of factors that can negatively impact the broken ankle recovery time period. As we know, a broken ankle may take between 6 and 12 weeks to heal, but that period can be extended.
For example, conditions such as diabetes and smoking cigarettes can slow down healing time significantlyas much as doubling the recovery time.
Similarly, a failure to allow for proper rest and recuperation may see the injury worsen or any healing that your body goes through undone. For example, if you decide to play sports before your doctor has advised you, or if you decide to return to work early.
Another thing that can slow down the broken ankle recovery time is a failure to follow the recommended steps for rehabilitation. For instance, if your doctor recommends physiotherapy but you choose not to attend, or you attend the sessions but do not continue with any of the recommended exercises at home.
- Getting any plaster case wet
- To avoid scratching underneath your cast
- And to avoid carrying heavy items.
Still Hurt Years After Broken Ankle Surgery
I am so happy I found this. I shattered my ankle years ago. They put plates and screws in. Long story short I was on crutches for 2 years and not one doctor could tell my why I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk. FINALLY I found a doctor who could tell me and it was because the hardware collapsed. He took the metal out and I was able to walk on my own! But I still suffer a great deal of pain. The doctor who took my metal out said it was nerve pain. Surgery would be a gamble. Could make it worse. Could stay the same. Or it could get better. I deal with a lot of pain daily. I can’t walk a long distance. I feel like no doctor wants to help me. I need some hope and direction.
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Why Is My Whole Body Aching For No Reason
Health conditions that cause whole body aches include flu, COVID-19, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune disorders. Body aches happen when your muscles, tendons, joints, and other connective tissues hurt. You may also have aches in your fascia, which is the soft tissue between your muscles, bones, and organs.
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What Causes A Broken Ankle
Broken ankles are usually caused by a rotational injury, where the ankle becomes twisted, turned or rolled while walking or running, such as during sports activity. But they can also be caused by a high-force impact, such as from a fall or automobile collision.
Breaks that occur suddenly, during a specific incident or injury, are known as traumatic ankle fractures. But a bone in the ankle can also break due to repetitive stress or impact over time. These are called stress fractures.
What Medical Treatment Is There For A Broken Ankle
After injuring your ankle to the point that it may be broken or is clearly broken, the best actions you can take until you get to a doctor are resting an ice pack on it and elevating the foot. Stable fractures can often be managed non-surgically. The unstable ones mostly require surgery.
The ankle is realigned and a plaster cast or a splint used to hold the joint for around 2-3 weeks. If the break is minor, a soft compression bandage may be all thats necessary if not, the next stage is a cast or splint.
Physiotherapy is beneficial for all patients regardless of the type of treatment they have previously received. Particularly in cases of severe ligament sprains and fractures, it helps turn a good recovery into a complete one. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of ongoing problems.
If the fracture is more complex, surgical treatment may be necessary. This could be in the form of specially designed plates that are put into the bone and whether these will be removed or not after recovery depends on the patients lifestyle. The plates will be removed if they interfere with activity and/or cause pain. Some people have a risky lifestyle and are more likely to have a physical injury and these people would be more likely to have it removed.
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How Can An Old Ankle Sprain Cause Pain And Swelling Years Later
Essentially, sprained ankles that were not healed properly years ago can leave residual weakness. This weakness is not frequently noticed during regular daily activities. Still, it can certainly affect those working to regain past athletic fitness or want to start new rigorous physical activity.
The residual weakness can result in a higher likelihood of another injury in the area and persistent pain and swelling, and chronic instability. Additionally, earlier injuries that were not properly healed could be the source of arthritis in later years. Arthritis is a painful condition that can affect peoples lives, including their ability to participate in sports.
An Update On The Physical Problems
The physical problems Ive been dealing with this last year are pain, swelling, numbness and stiffness. Last June I reported being 95 percent recovered and able to do almost all of my normal activities. I think its more like 97 percent now. A couple of things I can do now that I wasnt able to before are running and jumping jacks. I can even walk around in high heels for a very short period of time.
And heres the breakdown by symptom.
I have little to no pain walking most of the time and I am limp-free. Sometimes theres soreness when I relax my foot and discomfort during dorsiflexion. Sometimes my shins hurt too. Standing on tiptoe with the left leg hurts less than it used to. I attribute these pains to tight tendons and ligaments so Ive been doing some new things in the last month that have made a big difference. Im really excited about the results and will probably do a separate post on that later.
Theres still a bit of swelling depending on how much standing I do during the day. Swelling is limited to right around the ankle and not the rest of the foot as before. Ive only felt the need to use the ice pack once in the last few months.
The numbness is virtually gone. I used to feel it when I barely touched the top of my foot. Now the only time I feel anything like that is when Im massaging my foot. And even then its very, very faint.
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How To Protect Yourself From Arthritis Damage
You can slow the progression of arthritis by keeping your body weight within a healthy range and exercising, Kwong says. He also encourages people to be conscious of the stress they put on their joints every day. If two men have high school football injuries and one goes on to have a desk job while the other is a construction worker, the construction worker is more likely to get early arthritis, Kwong says.
In a 2010 study of nearly 2,500 people in Iceland, researchers found that men with strenuous occupations such as farming and fishing were more likely to need total knee replacement or total hip replacement surgery because of osteoarthritis, compared to managers and professionals in non-strenuous occupations.
When osteoarthritis does develop, its treated with exercise, therapy, and pain control, Dr. Casey says. Inflammatory arthritis is treated with medications that work best for that type of arthritis. In cases of severe arthritis, joint replacement may be needed.
I always tell patients that they are experts in their own body, Kwong says. Patients know when something is okay or not. If youre having joint trouble, its best to see your doctor.