Ankle fractures can cause inability to weight bear or walk with the affected leg, and early management is vital in ensuring full functional recovery from injury.
Ankle fractures can be the result of “rolling” the ankle, trauma or repetitive stress and overload. Traumatic fractures may be caused from injury such as falling from a height, or a motor vehicle accident. It is also possible to sustain a fracture from repeated overload such as long distance running, theses injuries are referred to as stress fractures. When an ankle fracture occurs, there is usually associated ligament and other soft tissue injury local to the ankle area.
Signs and symptoms of ankle fractures may include
· Localized pain
· Tenderness to touch the ankle
· Difficulty or inability to stand and walk on the affected leg.
If you suspect you have sprained, or fractured your ankle, a Physiotherapist can help assess your injury.
If your Physiotherapist or Doctor suspects you may have fractured your ankle, an X-ray will be performed to determine the location and type of fracture. Ankle fractures are required to be immobilized for at least six weeks with a cast, medical brace or medical boot, to allow for the bone to heal. In some cases surgery would be required to correct problems with alignment of the bones or to assist with stability of the injury.
Following an ankle fracture and the prescribed rest period, it is important to commence a rehabilitation program. Rehabilitation will aim to restore full strength, range of movement, movement control and proprioception. Proprioception is the system used by the body to recognize joint position and make subconscious corrections to maintain balance and optimal alignment. Re-training proprioception is an important process to reduce the risk of re-injuring the ankle by “rolling” it.
All Physica staff are experienced in assessing ankles, and will assist to diagnose and provide treatment as appropriate for all types of ankle injuries. The goal of rehabilitation is to optimize soft tissue healing, restore range of motion, and prescribe exercise to allow a full functional recovery.
Image taken from Google images.