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Updated:

April 1, 2024

What Are Ankle and Foot Fractures?

ankle fractures

Ankle fractures can occur in the tibia and fibula, as well as the other 26 bones in the ankle and foot, and vary in severity due to the positioning or type of injury. Unlike sprains, which stress or tear ligaments, fractures vary in severity from a “crack” in the bone to complete separation or break in multiple pieces.

Types of ankle fractures, including growth plate fractures ankle, common ankle fractures, stress fractures of the ankle, medial ankle stress fractures, and different types of ankle fractures such as trimalleolar ankle fracture and bimalleolar ankle fracture, all require specific attention. Hairline fracture ankle is another variant that might seem less severe but requires proper care.

All injured ankle injuries, especially ones where a fracture is suspected need to be evaluated by a physician with standard x-rays taken or other advanced testing (MRI or CT).

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How We Treat Ankle and Foot Fractures

The decision between conservative (non-surgical) and surgical treatment depends on the type and severity of injury. Fractures ankle generally require ankle fracture surgery, but conservative treatment for maintenance before and after may be necessary.

Conservative Ankle and Foot Fracture Options

Non-Weight Bearing

Fractures in the foot often need protection from motion. Minimizing movement and keeping pressure off the area is the best way to minimize the separation of the fractured bone. Crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, and strollers are also helpful when it comes to weight bearing. Patients shouldn’t bear weight anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks.

Ice

Insulated cold packs applied on and off of the injury site for 72 hours help to reduce swelling and discomfort. After 72 hours, alternating ice and heat every 15 to 20 minutes will help with the bruising and continued swelling.

Medication

Anti-inflammatory medication can help with chronic pain, but is not much help with acute pain involving ankle fractures. Multivitamins, especially ones rich in C and D with calcium, will help the healing process.

Immobilization

To help with immobilization and protection, casts can be used around the fractured area. Casts can be removable with Velcro straps or molded to the foot and ankle with plaster or fiberglass.

Bone Stimulator

If a bone fracture is slow to heal after 6 weeks, a portable lightweight machine can be placed around the fracture a few minutes out of the day to increase the chances of bone healing.

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Surgical Treatment for Ankle and Foot Fractures

Internal Fixation

A break in the skin in an area of a fracture is a medical emergency and will require surgery to prevent serious health complications caused by infection.

Bones that cannot be put back together in the office require surgery. Fractures that are inside a joint also require surgery to help minimize the likelihood of arthritis in the future.

Surgery is either done right after the injury, or 1 to 2 weeks after the injury. Screws and thin strips of strong metal can be used to put the bone back together which allows the fracture the fastest and best chance of healing.

This method of surgery allows a return to walking in 6 to 8 weeks depending on the fracture type and healing potential of the patient.

External Fixation

Sometimes a complex fracture requires stable ankle fractures. The extra stability can be provided externally by something that looks like a small “cage” around the ankle.

This device helps to absorb forces away from the injury while reducing the length of surgical openings caused to the skin in order to fix the bone damage.

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Insurance Coverage for Ankle Fractures

Our team diligently works with a variety of insurance providers to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits available under your policy. We handle the paperwork and liaise with insurance companies on your behalf, making the process as seamless as possible.

Whether your treatment plan involves conservative management or surgical intervention, we aim to provide a clear understanding of your coverage options, including deductibles, copays, and any potential out-of-pocket costs. Our goal is to allow you to focus on your recovery without the added stress of financial uncertainty.

Why Choose Us

Choosing the right care for ankle injuries and fractures can be overwhelming. At Modern Foot & Ankle, we stand out for numerous reasons:

posterior malleolus fracture

Expert Team

At Modern Foot & Ankle, our specialists lead the way in diagnosing and treating a wide array of ankle fractures and foot and ankle conditions. Our expertise spans from addressing posterior malleolus fractures to managing lateral malleolus fractures. Our team's comprehensive knowledge ensures that every patient receives the highest standard of care tailored to their specific condition.

Advanced Technology

We leverage state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment technologies to deliver optimal outcomes for our patients. Whether it's an isolated medial malleolus fracture or an ankle fracture dislocation, our advanced technological capabilities play a pivotal role in our ankle fracture  treatment plans, ensuring precise diagnoses and effective treatments.

Personalized Care Plans

Understanding that each ankle injury is unique, we offer personalized care plans designed to meet the specific needs of our patients. Whether the treatment involves the repair of ankle ligaments or the management of a broken bone, our customized approach ensures that each patient receives a treatment plan that is tailored to their individual requirements.

Minimally Invasive Options

Our commitment to patient care includes offering minimally invasive solutions whenever possible. This approach is particularly beneficial for conditions like posterior malleolus fractures, where our focus is on achieving quicker recovery times and reducing discomfort for our patients.

Comprehensive Rehabilitation

We adopt a holistic approach to rehabilitation, incorporating advanced techniques to aid recovery from ankle fractures and ankle joint injuries. Our comprehensive rehabilitation programs are designed to support the patient's recovery journey, promoting faster healing and restoring functionality.

Patient Education

Empowering our patients with knowledge about their condition is a cornerstone of our practice. We believe in educating our patients about issues related to displaced lateral malleolus fracture and medial malleolus fractures, among other conditions, offering insights into their treatment options and what to expect throughout their recovery process.

Exceptional Patient Experience

From the initial contact to the completion of treatment, our commitment at Modern Foot & Ankle is to provide an environment that is supportive, understanding, and professional. We strive to ensure that every patient's experience is exceptional, fostering a setting where individuals feel valued and cared for throughout their journey to recovery.

In Summary

  1. Immediate imaging, like x-rays or MRI, is essential for accurately identifying ankle and foot fractures.
  2. Treatment options are tailored to the fracture's type and severity, ranging from immobilization for minor injuries to surgical intervention for more severe cases.
  3. Advanced surgical techniques, including internal and external fixation, are used to ensure the best healing outcomes.
  4. Navigating insurance coverage is part of the service, ensuring treatments are accessible.
  5. Specialized care from experienced professionals guarantees effective recovery for various ankle and foot fractures.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.

FAQs

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How long does it take for a fractured ankle to heal?

Incomplete ankle fractures can take 3 to 4 weeks to heal, while complete ankle fractures with or without surgery can be expected to heal in 6 to 8 weeks.

Do you need a cast for a fractured ankle?

Yes, a cast immobilizes the fracture and ensures the fastest healing time for a fractured ankle. A cast boot or CAM walker can serve the same purpose if it is not taken off. This is the preferred option for most patients since you can remove the walker when the patient isn’t bearing weight or when they’re bathing.

Can a fractured ankle heal on its own?

Yes, a non-displaced fracture or one that is in ‘good alignment’ with a 2 to 4mm maximum separation can heal without surgery. Ankle stress fracture can heal with partial weight-bearing with a CAM walker.

Will my ankle be the same after a fracture?

Yes, your ankle will be the same after a fracture if the ligaments and joints structures (cartilage) are not damaged. Healed bone fractures can be just as strong as they were before the pediatric ankle fractures.

How much does a broken ankle cost?

The cost to treat a broken ankle is dependent upon the patient’s insurance policy, deductible, and copays. Without surgery, cash pay can range from $500 to $1,500 including office visits, x rays, casting, and follow-ups.

If surgery is warranted, ankle surgery costs do increase considerably to include the operating facility, anesthesia, and equipment costs ranging from $7500-$15,000. With insurance, the costs are considerably lower and depend upon the contract.

Do healed fractures show up on x-rays?

Healed fractures show up on x-rays if they were displaced, required surgery, or produced other joint damage with other structures involved. No, fractures do not always show up on x-rays if the fracture was non-displaced and other structures were not involved.

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Local Podiatrists specializing in Ankle Fracture

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Dr. Adam Siegel

His advanced training and diverse technology background equip him to provide top-tier care across a broad range of foot and ankle conditions.

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Her approach is rooted in compassion and personalized attention for each patient, embracing an individualized treatment plan for a broad range of foot and ankle conditions.

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Esteemed podiatrist with decades of experience, transitioning from surgery to non-surgical therapies. Known for his caring and friendly approach.

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Dr. Jacob Huffman

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Dr. Kyle Haverstrom

Highly skilled in minimally-invasive procedures, trauma, and sports medicine. Known for his strong surgical skills and talent for diabetic limb salvage.

Close-up image of Dr. Sagar Shah, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, known for his expertise in sports injuries and wound therapy
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Close-up image of Dr. Tamara Nemeroff, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Jupiter, recognized for her work in sports medicine and diabetic limb salvage
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Dr. Patrick Derby

Skilled in reconstructive surgery and wound care, with a focus on diabetic limb salvage. His principle: making a uniquely positive impact on each patient.

Headshot of Dr. Todd Talbert, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, known for his expertise in sports medicine and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery
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Dr. Todd Talbert

Specializes in sports medicine, trauma, and reconstructive surgery. Known for compassionate care and training surgical residents in reconstructive surgery.

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Dr. Dean Sorrento

Excels in advanced nerve decompression and sports medicine. His teaching background enhances patient understanding and care.

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Dr. Vanisaben Patel

Expertise in reconstructive surgery, sports medicine, and diabetic wound care. Her patient-centric, collaborative approach ensures optimal outcomes.

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Dr. Jalpen Patel

Dr. Patel's specialized training and patient-centered approach uniquely position him to offer exceptional care across a wide spectrum of foot and ankle conditions.

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Dr. Trevor Baddaloo

Dr. Baddaloo is renowned for his holistic and patient-focused care, skilled in sports medicine, podiatric surgery, and ensuring optimal health outcomes.

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Dr. Donald Adamov

Skilled in minimally-invasive bunion correction and advanced wound care, he provides individualized treatment for all conditions to achieve the best outcome.

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Dr. Melissa Prutch

Comprehensive expertise in podiatric surgery and wound care. Dedicated to a patient-first, holistic approach for superior health results.

Dr. Moore, a Spring, Texas-based board-certified Podiatrist, known for comprehensive care in all foot and ankle conditions with a focus on advanced surgical methods.
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Dr. Robert J. Moore III

Wide-ranging expertise in foot and ankle care, with a focus on surgery and wound management. Committed to patient-centered, holistic care.

Portrait of Dr. Divyesh Mehta, a male podiatrist in Orlando, Florida, specializing in sports medicine and diabetic reconstruction.
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Dr. Divyesh Mehta

Skilled in diabetic foot reconstruction and sports medicine through minimally-invasive procedures. His additional background in nursing provides supreme patient care.

Dr. Ivey, a male Podiatrist in Orlando, Florida, known for surgical expertise in lower extremity pathologies and sport medicine.
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Dr. Jacob Ivey

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Dr. Marquez, a female Orlando, Florida-based Podiatrist, known for reconstructive surgery in lower extremity pathologies and sport medicine.
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Dr. Carolina Marquez

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Dr. Huynh, a male Orlando, Texas-based Podiatrist, known for diabetic foot care, bunion procedures, hammertoe correction, and sport medicine.
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Dr. Phi Huynh

Treating a variety of foot and ankle concerns, with a focus on diabetic care and cosmetic procedures. Committed to compassionate care and individualized care plans.

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