What is an Ankle Fracture?
An ankle fracture is a break of the ends of the tibia, known as malleoli, that form the ankle. An ankle fracture may be as minor as a small crack in the ankle, or as severe as a complete break in the bone or a piece of the bone detaching. Ankle fractures are unfortunately very common, particularly in athletic injuries, car accidents, or simply twisting the ankle when walking or running. Below, we will go over some of the details of a common ankle fracture treatment known as reconstruction surgery.
When is Ankle Reconstruction Necessary?
Ankle reconstruction may be necessary after an ankle fracture in circumstances where the ankle is unstable and will be unable to align on its own naturally. If the ankle fracture led to loose fragments of bone or cartilage or excess scar tissue, then ankle reconstruction surgery will be necessary.
It is ideal to have the reconstruction procedure prior to misalignment following the fracture, as this is a major cause of arthritis developing later down the line. In the event that arthritis developed prior to the ankle reconstruction, it is important to work with a foot and ankle specialist that is trained in treating arthritis in order to work to prevent long term complications.
Ankle Fracture Reconstruction Surgery Process
If an ankle reconstruction is performed prior to the irregular surfaces of the ankle continuing to rub against each other, the development of arthritis may be prevented. There are many surgical options to consider in this scenario, so your doctor will work with you to choose the best surgical method for your particular injury.
One of these procedures involves breaking the ankle and fixing the bones so that the ankle joint will rest in a more appropriate position. This can be accomplished by the use of bone graft to lengthen and realign the bones if necessary.
In other scenarios, the entire tibia bone, which is above the ankle joint, requires a cutting of the bone (osteotomy) and is then secured with plates and screws to better realign the ankle joint.
The goal of any reconstruction surgery is to better align the bones making up the ankle so that it can heal and stabilize without complications.
Healing from Reconstruction After Ankle Fractures
After an ankle reconstruction procedure, the recovery is going to be similar to the healing process for an ankle fracture that did not require reconstruction. This means the ankle will need to be placed in a cast to remain stable for four to eight weeks. During this time, you should not bear weight on the affected ankle. Your orthopeadic surgeon will guide you throughout the recovery, ensuring your ankle is healthy enough for normal activities at the appropriate benchmark.
Where to get Reconstruction Surgery After Ankle Fracture in Illinois
If you have suffered an ankle fracture in Illinois, it is important to see an ankle and foot specialist immediately to determine if reconstruction is necessary. It is always ideal to avoid a surgery, but seeing a trained and experienced specialist like Dr. Vora can ensure the correct treatment route is taken to avoid long term complication. With offices in Chicago and Libertyville, Dr. Vora is prepared to get you back on your feet. Contact us today to learn more.