Why should this fracture fixed without delay?
We want you to be up and about immediately after your injury. Next point is we want you to be back in your normal level of activities and get back to your job as early as possible. Why should you waste time when there is a very good treatment option is available?
What bones are broken?
Ankle is a very strong joint. Minor twisting injuries could over stretch ligaments of the ankle. However when the applied force is severe, bones start to fail. Tips of the tibia and fibula (The bones making the ankle joint) can be fractured.
What could you see if the ankle is fractured ?
There will be immediate swelling on the either side of the joint. Bluish discoloration, bleeding under the skin, ankle going out of shape, water filled skin bubbles (blisters) could be seen. Foot may also swell if you keep the leg on dependent position. Weight bearing is difficult and painful.
Any first aids ?
Yes. You could splint the injured ankle with two strips of wood placed either side of the ankle over a clean cloth. Keep the ankle Elevated on a couple of pillows. Application of ice will also be helpful. Do not give anything to eat or drink until medical advice is available.
What tests need to be done?
It is usually an Xray of the ankle joint taken from the front and side. Complex fractures will require a CT scan.
Will I need an operation?
Ankle sprains are usually not operated. The ankle will be put on an ankle brace/plaster of Paris half cast for a period of two to three weeks.
Fractures of the smaller bone (fibula) with broken pieces remaining in the original position may be managed with a plaster half cast. These fractures only need an adequate period of immobilization until the body heals it.
Fractures with displaced bone ends and those which involve both bones need operative fixation.
Please read anesthesia for operations of the hips and lower limbs.
How is it fixed ?
It takes about 45 minute to perform this operation. A small plate is used to fix the break in the smaller bone. Either two pins or a small screw are used to fix the tip of the other bone. The ankle will be secured with a plaster half cast.
When Can I go home?
When you are pain free and after the swelling settles. One-two days after operation.
When Can I walk?
It takes about six weeks to heal. You are not supposed to put on weight on the leg. However you could walk on the other leg with help of a pair of crutches/walking frame.
When can I put on weight on the leg ?
Your plaster half cast will be taken off at six weeks after operation. You will be advised to wear an ankle brace and commence on partial weight bearing for about two weeks before you put on full weight.Then onwards you will improve gradually.
How should I look after my leg ?
You should not run/jump until you are advised to do so.
There will be some swelling especially towards the end of the day. This settles by the next day morning. You will notice swelling gets worse if you hang it down. Please keep the leg elevated when you sleep or keep it on a similar height when you are seated.
How long do I have to stay in the hospital??
It is about two to three days. You need to keep the leg elevated on a pillow to prevent swelling. As it is a minor operation, there will not be much pain. However you will be given pain killers.
When is the wound check ?
Please Read wound care for info one dressing change and stich removal.