Often times when you injure your foot, you may not know if you actually broke it or not. It is important to know if your ankle is broken or just sprained, as the treatments are going to be very different.
First, What is a Broken Ankle?
A broken ankle, also known as an ankle fracture is usually very painful, swollen and may involve bruises. Once you break your ankle, you will most likely not be able to put weight on your foot. If you hear a cracking noise when you injure your ankle or you notice that the bone over the ankle is misshaped, it is most likely a broken ankle. This is when one of the three ankle bones break. If not treated right away, you could end up with severe ligament damage, resulting in ankle ligament reconstruction.
What are My Treatment Options for an Ankle Fracture?
Of course, it will depend on the severity of your ankle fracture. Seek the diagnosis and treatment from a trusting podiatrist. Right after you do injure your ankle, be sure to rest it, apply ice, elevate it, and take pain relievers if needed. When you meet with a podiatrist, they can align the bones to aid in the healing process. If the bones are unable to stay in place after the alignment, you may need ankle reconstructive surgery. The recovery from a broken ankle can range from six weeks to a few months. If you need surgery, it is most likely going to take a few months to completely heal and you may need to attend physical therapy or rehabilitation.
What Can I Expect From Ankle Fracture Surgery?
Your podiatrist will walk you through what he plans on doing during the surgery. Ankle fracture surgery will help your ankle heal with stable internal fixation screwed into the bone. During the surgery, a plate is put in place that will help keep the portion of the bone aligned to help it heal properly. You won’t be able to place weight on the foot from anywhere between three to ten weeks. After this, you will need to wear some sort of cast or boot and attend physical therapy following that.
When is Ankle Ligament Reconstruction Surgery Needed? If you do suffer from a very severe ankle sprain that is not quite considered an ankle fracture, you may need to consider ankle ligament reconstruction surgery to help restore the stability of the ankle. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, they use the Brostrom Gould technique. Your surgeon will place dissolving stitches and anchors along with a splint in the fibula bone to tighten the ankle ligaments. You will need to wear a cast for three to four weeks once the swelling goes down after surgery. In about four to six weeks, you should finally be able to put weight on your foot. However, the entire recovery process could take anywhere from six months to one full year. If you are looking for a trusted surgeon to perform ankle surgery, the Arizona Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona offers only the best techniques to provide you with relief from foot or ankle pain.