Ankle Conditions: Broken Ankle, what you need to know

Dr. Baravarian discusses  ankle fractures, their treatment and way to avoid complications.

The ankle bone consists of three bones (tibia, fibula and talus) and if any of these bones fracture, you have what is considered a broken ankle If only the ligaments give way, you then have a sprained ankle.

 

Ankle fractures are one of the most under-treated orthopedic conditions today leading to an alarming increase in early onset ankle instability and arthritis. So getting the right diagnosis along with proper and timely care can make all the difference in your outcome.

 

Using the most advanced techniques, some of which we helped develop, awards us the  highest success rated in the nation. Our goal is to quickly get you back on your feet, utilizing the least invasive treatments possible.

Symptoms of a Broken Ankle

Determining proper treatment early can avoid most long-term ankle issues, including arthritis. When it comes to your ankle, it is better to be safe now, than sorry later.

 

Non-surgical Treatments for a Broken Ankle

Ankle fractures that don’t have gapping or angulations/rotation at the fracture site are usually treated with cast and in indicated, physical therapy. These usually do not require surgery. 

The patient is typically placed on crutches for about 6 weeks, which is followed by physical therapy and protection in a brace for 6 more weeks. Doctors often prescribe the RICE treatment, which is:

 

Rest

Stay off the ankle as much as possible to prevent further injury

 

Ice and Compression 

Cold compresses are most effective the first 24 hours after the injury

 

Elevation

To help limit swelling

 

Surgical Treatment Options for a Broken Ankle

Ankle fractures often require surgery to replace the fractured pieces to normal anatomic alignment and put the ankle joint in the correct position. There are several reasons why an ankle fracture will require surgery. If the fracture is displaced or angulated, and the ankle joint is no longer aligned, surgery is required to realign the ankle joint. It is essential to align the ankle fracture to within 2 millimeters of original position for optimal long-term results. Ankle fractures involving joint cartilage can lead to arthritis in the joint. It is especially important that ankle fractures are reduced to return the anatomy to its normal position and alignment.

 

Ankle fractures will also require surgery if the ankle is broken in several places (called a bi-malleolar or tri-malleolar fracture). These types of ankle fractures are very unstable, and will require surgery to stabilize the joint. If these injuries are not stabilized with surgery, the bones will likely shift, causing a malalignment of the joint, which may lead to post-traumatic arthritis in the ankle.

Over 200,000 happy UFAI patients and growing
  • Yelp
    I am a huge fan of Dr. Bob. I play soccer for fun and have had my fair share of visits to his office. Each time he has been very quick in diagnosing the problem and finding a solution. It is frustrating other doctors ...
    Shahrad T.
  • Yelp
    My wife and I went to play tennis on a Wednesday morning, and within 10 minutes, I experienced the most excruciating pain in my right ankle!! Yes, I had TORN the achilles tendon!! OUCH! I hobbled to the car and call...
    Duane D.
  • CustomerSure
    I have had a hard time finding a doctor that is not rushing and truly listens. Dr. Campbell is really the best doctor I have been to in Santa Barbara. He listens, is thoughtful, and wants to make sure I understand. I ...
    Pauline C.
  • CustomerSure
    The staff up front, especially Michelle, was great with scheduling and billing issues. The therapy team, especially Suzanne and Kristel, were incredible (as usual). Everyone is always friendly and professional, and I ...
    Kevin D.
  • CustomerSure
    Best experience I've ever had. Gary Briskin is wonderful! Treated decently without stress! Learned that daily pain is unnecessary. My toes are gonna cry "Tee-hee-hee", all the way home. Thanks, Dr. Briskin; I can ...
    Judith D,
  • ZocDoc
    Everyone was very pleasant, and the doctor spoke and listened without typing into a database. Very knowledgeable doctor. I would definitely recommend Dr. Campbell to my "running" friends.
    Thomas T.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Baravarian is a pro. Knows his stuff, and wanted to get to the root of the problem. Glad he is the one that operated on me. The staff nurses at St Johns were very professional and kind. Lisa, Jacqueline and Christ...
    Dana M.
  • Yelp
    My 1st time visiting University Foot & Ankle was a great experience! Dr. Yau was very helpful and even provided his email to contact him about any concerns I may have had due to my injury. Awesome staff and great loca...
    Juan A.
  • Yelp
    I can't express how grateful I am for The University Foot & Ankle Institute! I rolled my ankle a while back, and these guys had me fast on the road to recovery. They have experienced surgeons and therapists and 8 loca...
    Steven K.
  • CustomerSure
    I encountered very nice and supportive staff, and a doctor with a very welcoming attitude.
    Diego C.
Same Day Appointments
Now Available!

Or call 877-989-9110

24 hours a day, 7 days a week