Dr. Keith A Heier specializes in treating foot and ankle injuries in Carrollton TX. The ankle doctor can diagnose and treat a range foot and ankle disorders including fractures.
Although seen mostly to be a sports related injury, ankle fractures can happen to people of all ages and from all walks of life. A fracture in the ankle region can involve any of the three major bones that are jointed in the ankle – the Tibia, the Fibula and the Talus. The Tibia is the larger of the two long bones in the lower leg region, and the Fibula is the relatively smaller and thinner. The Talus is a bone shaped like a wedge which is housed deep within the ankle region and provides support to the tibia and the fibula. The fracturing of any of these bone scan be termed an ankle fracture. Impact damage, sudden twisting motions, falls from height and accidents are the major contributors which usually cause ankle fracture. Depending on the severity of the fracture, orthopedic treatment of many kinds can be employed to successfully deal with a case of ankle fracture.
Causes of Ankle Fractures
A number of different kinds of events can be the root cause behind an ankle fracture. Most often, cases of ankle fractures are seen in sportsmen and athletes who indulge in sports and games that involve intensive use of the legs and are contact intensive. A number of sports like basketball, skydiving, snowboarding and activities like ballet dancing can contribute towards an ankle fracture. Slips and falls from a height and accidents which cause significant impact damage can also be responsible for ankle fractures. Auto Mobile accidents are very often the reason behind a case of severe ankle fracture.
Symptoms of Ankle Fractures
An ankle fracture can have a number of different symptoms which can be painful and debilitating. These include –
Diagnosis of Ankle Fractures
Severe pain in the ankle joint, accompanied by inflammation, bruising, and a feeling of tenderness and sensitivity.
Loss of normal range of motion of the ankle.
Loss of ability for the affected leg to support weight.
Visible deformity of the ankle region in case of a severe ankle fracture.
Someone who has suffered from an ankle fracture can experience some or all of these symptoms.
The first step towards properly diagnosing a case of ankle fracture is for the ankle doctor to know the details about your injury. As part of the required information, the doctor might want to know how and when the injury took place, and whether pain and swelling developed immediately afterwards or later. This is ideally accompanied by a detailed look into your medical history, including past injuries and instances of surgery in the area if any. This is usually followed by a thorough physical examination of the area during which the doctor will look for deformities, the extent of inflammation, bruising, and soreness. The ankle doctor might also try to feel different parts of your ankle and maneuver it around to pinpoint the exact location of the fracture and to assess the extent of the damage. The diagnosis can then be confirmed by diagnostic tests like x-ray.
Treatment for Ankle Fractures
In case the fracture is mild, the ankle doctor might choose to treat it by immobilizing the area in a plaster cast and keeping it immobile for 6 to 8 weeks during which time the fracture heals naturally. In case of more severe fracture, surgical lines of treatment may be pursued where specials metal screws and wires can be used to reset the bone.
For comprehensive orthopedic treatment for ankle fractures, call Dr. Heier at (972) 492-1334.