Bone Fracture: Broken Ankle and Broken Foot

Fractures of the foot and ankle are common injuries. The experienced doctors at American Foot & Leg Specialists, including Dr. Marieli A. Colon, have treated all types of bone fractures.

The ankle joint is composed of three different bones that come together to form the ankle:

  • Tibia: The larger, weight bearing of the two bones in the lower leg that is located medially, or in the middle of the leg.
  • Fibula: The smaller, non-weight bearing of the two bones in the lower leg is laterally located, or to the outside, and runs parallel to the tibia.
  • Talus: The bone of the foot that sits below the tibia and fibula.

Together, the tibia and fibula create an arch that rests on top of the talus. The point at which these three bones meet is considered the ankle joint. A broken ankle usually refers to a break of either the tibia or fibula.

The foot itself is made up of 26 bones, including the talus. Many everyday falls result in a bone fracture in the foot or ankle.

Causes of Bone Fractures to the Foot and Leg

Fractures of the foot and ankle most commonly occur when an outside force causes the bone to bend, twist, or be crushed. Acute injuries usually happen by rolling an ankle, a car accident, or an athletic injury.

Fractures that result from chronic use over an extended period of time are most commonly referred to as stress fractures. A small crack develops in a bone of the foot or ankle from stress. Not surprisingly, this injury is common among distance runners and other endurance athletes. Increases in frequency, intensity, and duration of any type of physical activity can be common factors associated with a stress fracture.

While stress fractures are common among athletes, they can be found in sedentary individuals indicating low bone density or osteopenia.

Symptoms of a Bone Fracture of the Foot or Ankle

  • Pain that increases with weight-bearing activities and subsides with rest
  • Tenderness over the area of the stress fracture
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Deformity of the bone or the bone protruding through the skin are the result of more severe breaks

Treatment of a Fractured Foot or Ankle

Treatment of a fractured foot or ankle varies greatly, as there are numerous types and different degrees of severity. The physicians at American Foot & Leg Specialists evaluate each case to determine what treatment will best serve each individual. Most commonly, treatment will consist of some type of immobilization of the fractured bone to allow it to rest such as a cast, removable brace, or a stiff-soled shoe. Utilization of crutches is often necessary to further reduce stress on the injured area, allowing it to rest and heal. Additionally, medication is often prescribed to help reduce pain and inflammation in the area.

In more serious cases, surgery is sometimes necessary to maintain the integrity of the bone by fixing the bone in place with pins, plates, or screws. These may be removed following surgery.

Each patient is unique; therefore, results may vary.

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American Foot and Leg Specialists draws patients from all over the Atlanta area. Our 4 locations in Stockbridge, Forest Park, Fayetteville, and Locust Grove, are just short drive from Midtown, Buckhead, East Point, College Park, Riverdale, Jonesboro, Irondale, McDonough, and Peachtree City. Schedule a consultation today to eliminate your foot and ankle problems.