Fractures (broken bones) of the foot and ankle are among the most common injuries we treat in our practice. Bone fractures may happen as the result of an acute injury or may be from overuse (stress fracture) in athletes or people who participate in weightbearing exercise such as walking or hiking.
Ankle fracture requiring surgery
If a fracture is suspected based on your history and physical exam (localized tenderness, swelling, or bruising), then we will obtain x-rays in the office, often, this is sufficient to confirm the diagnosis if an acute injury was the cause. In cases where repetitive athletic training or weightbearing exercise results in a stress fracture, normal x-rays may not be sufficient for a diagnosis and you may be referred for further imaging such as MRI, CT or nuclear medicine (bone) scan.
Many factors are considered in deciding on a fracture treatment plan. Among them are location, how much the bone fragments have moved relative to one another (displacement), angulation, number of bone fragments, etc. The simplest treatment plan involves rest and immobilization, while displaced fractures may require reduction of the fracture (manipulation to improve alignment and reduce distance between bone fragments). Fractures which occur within a joint are of particular concern as if not aligned, properly, arthritis may result. This reduction may be “closed,” meaning under local or regional or general anesthesia but without surgical incision, or “open,” implying an incision is made and direct, accurate realignment of the bone fragments accomplished. Often, screws, plates, and/or metal pins may be used to maintain the alignment obtained. The foot and ankle may be immobilized with devices ranging from fracture shoe to fracture boot, fiberglass cast, or external fixator.
Ankle fracture repaired
Talus body fracture x-ray
Talus body fracture CT image
Talus body fracture, repaired
Multiple metatarsal fractures, preoperative
Multiple metatarsal fractures, repaired