Ankle Fracture Treatment
What is ankle fracture treatment?
Ankle bones can fracture from twisting or rolling your ankle, from high force impact or from degenerative illness such as arthritis. There are many different types of fracture that can affect the ankle joint, and although they can all cause incredibly painful symptoms that require immediate attention, not all ankle fractures will need surgery.
Ankle fractures can either be nondisplaced (where the bones are broken but still in place) or displaced (where part of the bone has separated away, or is no longer in the right place). The treatment goal is to heal the bones as perfectly as possible to avoid the risk of arthritis in the future. Mild ankle breaks can generally be treated non-surgically, but in more severe cases ankle fracture surgical treatment is required. Ankle fracture treatment options include:
- Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) – where the bones are realigned and fixed internally using pins, plates or screws.
- Ankle fusion surgery – where the bones are joined together and commonly used to treat ankle arthritis.
- Ankle replacement surgery – where the damaged ankle joint is replaced with artificial parts, usually in the case of severe osteoarthritis.
General recovery times
Recovery times will depend upon the severity of the injury and the extent of the ankle fracture treatment. After surgery, you will be asked to keep your foot elevated as much as possible for the first 2 weeks, though you may require a Moonboot for 4-6 weeks while the bone heals. Your surgeon may allow early weight bearing depending on the stability of the fracture. Crutches and walking aids will be provided.
You can start your Physiotherapy once the wounds have healed (generally around 2 weeks) and you can upgrade your exercises once the Moonboot has been weaned. Ankle fractures can take many months to heal, and in severe cases it can take up to a year to make a full recovery.
Other ankle surgeries and procedures
Common ankle conditions
How much will my ankle surgery cost?
Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:
What will my treatment and recovery look like?
Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.