Broken Ankle

Broken Ankle

An ankle fracture is the breaking of one or more bones in the ankle. This condition often occurs as a result of injury , whether due to exercise, sprain, fall, or traffic accident .

The ankle has three bony parts, namely the tibia or calf bone , the fibula or shin bone, and the talus as its base. The ankle is also covered with a capsule and joint fluid so that there is no friction between the bones.

An ankle fracture occurs when one or more of the bones are broken. The severity can vary, ranging from cracks to fractures that penetrate the skin.

Ankle fractures can occur at any age, but this condition is more often experienced by men between the ages of 25 and 25.

Causes of Ankle Fractures

Ankle fractures are often caused by:

  • Vehicle accident
  • Injuries while exercising
  • Fall from a height
  • Fall due to tripping
  • The ankle is twisted when walking or running

In addition, the following factors can also increase the risk of ankle fractures:

  • Doing heavy sports, such as basketball, tennis, or soccer
  • Wearing footwear that is not suitable for the activity
  • Increase the intensity of sports suddenly
  • Doing high-risk jobs, such as building reconstruction or working in a factory
  • Walk on uneven or slippery roads
  • Have osteoporosis
  • Having bone cancer

Symptoms of Ankle Fracture

There are several signs or symptoms that can be recognized if someone suffers from an ankle fracture, namely:

  • There was a sound like something breaking at the time of the incident
  • Severe pain that appears suddenly in the ankle
  • Bruising and swelling in the ankle
  • The shape of the ankle is not normal due to bone displacement
  • The pain increases during activity and decreases when resting
  • Pain when standing or when leaning on the broken leg
  • Bleeding occurs when the bone penetrates the skin
  • Bleeding in a broken bone joint ( hemarthrosis )

When should you go to the doctor?

Immediately consult a doctor if you experience an ankle injury , especially if the signs and symptoms of an ankle fracture appear as described above. Examination is also required when the following complaints appear:

  • The pain and swelling worsened
  • Swelling accompanied by tingling or numbness
  • Discoloration of the skin in the injured area, which can be a sign of gangrene
  • Unable to move the big toe
  • Changes in the shape of the legs

Patients who suffer from bleeding due to open fractures , especially to the point of shock , need to be immediately taken to the emergency department (IGD). Symptoms of shock can be:

  • Turn
  • Dark look
  • Cold sweat
  • Heart pounding

Diagnosis of Ankle Fractures

The doctor will ask about the incident at the time of the injury and perform a physical examination. In the physical examination, the doctor will see and feel the patient's ankle, or move the patient's leg if necessary.

To confirm the suspected ankle fracture, the doctor will perform a supporting examination in the form of:

  • X-rays
    X -rays can show the condition and location of the ankle fracture. This scan needs to be done from several sides so that the fracture can be seen clearly.
  • CT scan
    Scanning with a CT scan can show details of the bone and the tissue that surrounds it. The results of the scan can help the doctor determine the best treatment for the patient.
  • MRI
    This scan is done to see the condition of the bones and surrounding tissues in more detail.
  • Bone scan
    This examination is carried out when there is suspicion that the bone has suffered abnormalities, such as cancer, before the injury. In this procedure, a radioactive substance will be injected into the blood vessels before scanning.

Ankle Fracture Treatment

If you feel the symptoms of a broken ankle, you are advised not to move much. Below is self-care that can be done before going to the hospital:

  • If bleeding occurs, stop it by pressing the wound with a clean cloth or gauze.
  • Wrap the injured wrist with an elastic bandage, but not so tight that the leg goes numb.
  • Cold compress the injured ankle using ice cubes wrapped in a cloth or towel, for a maximum of 20 minutes.
  • Lie down and support the injured leg with a pillow until the position is higher than the chest, to reduce pain and swelling in the broken area.

After arriving at the hospital, the patient will receive further treatment. There are several actions taken by doctors to overcome ankle fractures, namely:

  • Give pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Perform reduction, which is the act of returning the bone to its original position, by first giving the patient a sedative or anesthetic
  • Support the patient's leg with a cast or leg support for a while, so that the broken bone does not move
  • Perform an operation to install a pen, when reduction and installation of a cast or leg support is not possible

Patients who use casts or leg braces can walk with crutches. The length of time it takes until the cast or leg support can be removed depends on the severity of the ankle fracture , but is usually around 6 weeks.

While using a cast or leg support, there are several things that need to be considered, namely:

  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy weights and exercising.
  • Keep the cast or foot support from getting wet.
  • Move your toes and bend your knees regularly to reduce stiffness.
  • Contact a doctor if the cast cracks, is too tight or loose, and if the foot or ankle feels painful and uncomfortable.

Do not forget to check yourself back to the doctor a few weeks after the first treatment, to know the condition of the ankle.

Complications of Ankle Fractures

Ankle fractures can cause complications in the form of:

  • Bone infection ( osteomyelitis )
  • Arthritis _ _
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage
  • Compartment syndrome

Ankle Fracture Prevention

Ankle fractures can be prevented with the following steps:

  • Using the right shoes and suitable for the environmental conditions
  • Warm up before exercising
  • Do not exercise excessively
  • Maintaining bone health by increasing the consumption of food sources of calcium and vitamin D
  • Lose weight when obese
  • Maintain an ideal weight
  • Be careful when driving and walking on slippery surfaces
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