How Is It Done?
With three relatively small bones operating so close together, several different types of fractures can occur. Ankle fractures are classified by severity, position, orientation, etc. Surgical procedures to repair these fractures differ slightly depending on the credentials of each individual break, but the overall process remains fairly consistent. During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision near the ankle joint which provides access to the broken portion of bone. Bone fragments are repositioned into their original alignment and held in place to heal through the use of metal screws and plates. In cases where the fracture has not been significantly forced out of place, non-surgical treatment options are initially utilized, and are often successful. In this instance, your doctor will apply a short leg cast and ask that your avoid putting weight on your leg for several weeks.
With such a wide range of ankle injuries and treatment options, the way individuals respond to surgery varies from patient to patient. In most cases, broken bones heal in 6 weeks, while any damaged ligaments surrounding the joint typically take a bit longer. Exercise and physical therapy helps build strength and encourage mobility within the ankle, and can help expedite the healing process when practiced properly. Most patients comfortably return to everyday activities within 3 to 4-months.