Foot & Ankle Fractures

Foot and ankle fractures are extremely common injuries and vary greatly depending on type and severity.

Ankle Fractures

  • Lateral Malleolus Fracture: This involves a break in the bone on the outer side of the ankle.
  • Medial Malleolus Fracture: A fracture of the bone on the inner side of the ankle.
  • Bimalleolar Fracture: Involves fractures of both the lateral and medial malleoli.
  • Trimalleolar Fracture: This involves fractures of the lateral malleolus, medial malleolus, and the posterior aspect of the distal tibia.

 

Foot Fractures

  • Metatarsal Fractures: Fractures of the long bones in the foot that connect the toes to the midfoot.
  • Phalangeal Fractures: Fractures of the toe bones (phalanges).
  • Calcaneal Fracture: A fracture of the heel bone.
  • Navicular Fracture: A fracture of the navicular bone, which is located on the top of the midfoot.
  • Talus Fracture: A fracture of the talus bone, which is located between the heel bone and the lower leg bones.

 

Stress Fractures: These are tiny cracks in bones that occur due to repetitive stress or overuse rather than a single traumatic event. They commonly occur in the metatarsals or other weight-bearing bones of the foot.

Avulsion Fractures: These occur when a small piece of bone is pulled off by a tendon or ligament. They often occur in the ankle due to the forceful contraction of the muscles around the joint.

Jones Fracture: A specific type of fracture involving the base of the fifth metatarsal bone, typically caused by an inversion injury to the foot.

Lisfranc Fracture-Dislocation: This involves a fracture and dislocation of the Lisfranc joint, which is the joint that connects the midfoot to the forefoot.

Talar Dome Fracture: A fracture of the talus bone within the ankle joint, often due to trauma or repetitive stress.

Pilon Fracture: A severe type of fracture that involves the lower end of the tibia (shinbone), typically as a result of high-energy trauma such as a car accident or fall from a height.

Symptoms

Pain: Typically the most prominent symptom of a foot or ankle fracture. The pain may be localized to the site of the fracture and can range from mild to severe. It may worsen with weight-bearing or movement.

Swelling: Another common symptom of food and ankle fractures is swelling around the injured area. The swelling may develop rapidly after the injury and can be accompanied by bruising.

Tenderness: The area around the fracture site may be tender to the touch. Pressing on the injured area may elicit pain.

Deformity: In some cases, foot and ankle fractures may cause visible deformity of the affected limb. This may be evident as a noticeable bump, angulation, or abnormal positioning of the foot or ankle.

Difficulty or inability to bear weight: Depending on the severity of the fracture, individuals may have difficulty or be unable to bear weight on the affected foot or ankle. Walking or putting pressure on the injured limb may exacerbate pain.

Decreased range of motion: Fractures can restrict the normal range of motion of the foot or ankle joint. Individuals may experience stiffness or difficulty moving the affected limb.

Numbness or tingling: In cases where the fracture affects nearby nerves, individuals may experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in the foot or toes.

Open wound or skin break: Severe fractures may result in an open wound or break in the skin overlying the fracture site. This may increase the risk of infection and require prompt medical attention.

Treatment

Foot and ankle fracture treatment depends on the type and severity of the fracture, the patient’s age and overall health, and the presence of any accompanying injuries. Options may include:

Immobilization

The use of a soft or hard cast, posterior splint, a walking boot (CAM boot)/special shoe can stabilize the fracture and promote healing.

Reduction

In some cases, the bones may be manipulated back into proper alignment.

Surgery 

Surgical intervention for more severe fractures or fractures that remain unstable. Surgical procedures may involve the use internal or external devices to help with align the displaced bone.

If you have a foot injury or a condition that’s getting worse, don’t live with the pain.

Care at Keir Foot & Ankle Specialists

If you are experiencing symptoms of a foot or ankle fracture, you need to see a specialist. 

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