An ankle fracture usually involves the medial or lateral malleolus; these are the bony prominences that can be felt on the inner and outer aspect of the ankle. Theses bony prominences help to keep the ankle stable whilst allowing normal movement. The general aim of treatment of an ankle fracture is to achieve bony healing in a good position with the minimum if inconvenience. High energy ankle injuries may be complex serious problems which are not discussed here but fall within our expertise.
Key Points — Mechanism and symptoms
- Usually a twisting injury
- Pain and bony tenderness over the bony prominences of the ankle
- Difficulty weightbearing
- Sometimes there is obvious deformity
Key Points — Diagnosis
- Once suspected the diagnosis is confirmed with X-ray
- Sometimes CT scan is required to confirm pattern of injury
Key Points — Treatment
- The surgeon will assess the fracture using imaging and examination
- Many stable fractures which are in a good position can be treated with a removable splint for comfort. Weight bearing may begin as soon as comfort allows
- An unstable or mal-positioned fracture may require manipulation and cast or an open operation with internal fixation. Weight bearing may be restricted for six weeks.