Table of contents:
- Causes of Broken Ankles
- Ankle Fracture Symptoms
- Ankle Fracture Diagnosis
- Ankle Fracture Treatment
- Complications of Broken Ankle
- Ankle Fracture Prevention
Ankle fracture is a fracture of one or more bones in the ankle. This condition often occurs due to injury, whether due to sports, sprains, falls, or traffic accidents
The ankle has three bones, namely the tibia or calf bone, fibula or shinbone, and the talus as its base. The ankle is also covered with a capsule and joint fluid to prevent friction between the bones.
Ankle fractures occur when one or more of these bones are broken. The severity can vary, from fractures to fractures that penetrate the skin.
Broken ankles can occur at any age, but this condition is more common in boys aged up to 25 years.
Causes of Broken Ankles
Broken ankles are often caused by:
- vehicle accident
- Injury while exercising
- Fall from a height
- Fall due to trip
- Twisted ankle when walking or running
In addition, the following factors can also increase the risk of an ankle fracture:
- Doing strenuous exercise, such as basketball, tennis, or soccer
- Wearing footwear that is not suitable for the activity
- Sudden increase in exercise intensity
- Doing high-risk work, such as reconstructing buildings or working in factories
- Walking on uneven or slippery roads
- Having osteoporosis
- Having bone cancer
Ankle Fracture Symptoms
There are several signs or symptoms that can be recognized if someone suffers from a broken ankle, namely:
- There was a sound like something breaking during the incident
- Sudden severe pain in the ankle
- Bruise and swelling in the ankle
- Ankle shape is not normal due to bone shift
- Pain increases with activity and decreases with rest
- Pain when standing or when resting on a broken leg
- Bleeding occurs when the bone penetrates the skin
When to see a doctor
Immediately consult a doctor if you have an ankle injury, especially if signs and symptoms of a broken ankle appear as described above. Examination is also required if the following complaints appear:
- The pain and swelling is getting worse
- Swelling accompanied by tingling or numbness
- Skin discoloration in the injured area, which can be a sign of gangrene
- Unable to move big toe
- Change the shape of the legs
Patients who experience bleeding due to open fractures, let alone go into shock, need to be immediately taken to the emergency department (IGD). Symptoms of shock can be:
- Dark vision
- Cold sweat
- Heart pounding
Ankle Fracture Diagnosis
The doctor will ask what happened during the injury and perform a physical examination. During a physical examination, the doctor will see and feel the patient's ankle, or move the patient's leg if necessary.
To confirm the suspicion of a broken ankle, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations in the form of:
The X-ray can show the condition and location of the fracture in the ankle. This scan needs to be done from several sides so that the fracture can be seen clearly.
Scanning with a CT scan can show details of the bone and surrounding tissue. Scan results can help doctors determine the best treatment for patients.
This scan is done to see the condition of the bone and surrounding tissue in more detail.
This examination is carried out if there is a suspicion that the bone has experienced abnormalities, such as cancer, before the injury. In this procedure, a radioactive substance is injected into a vein before the scan is performed.
Ankle Fracture Treatment
If you feel the symptoms of a broken ankle, you are advised not to move much. Below are 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.
- Crap the injured wrist with an elastic bandage, but not so tight that the leg becomes numb.
- Cold compresses to 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 so that it is higher than the chest, to reduce pain and swelling in the area of the fracture.
After arriving at the hospital, the patient will receive further treatment. There are several actions taken by doctors to treat broken ankles, namely:
- Giving pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Reduction, which is an action to return the bone to its original position, by first giving the patient a sedative or anesthetic
- Propping up the patient's leg with a cast or leg brace for a while, so that the broken bone doesn't move
- Perform surgery to attach the pen, if reduction and installation of a cast or foot brace is not possible
Patients who are in a cast or leg brace can walk with a cane. The length of time it takes for the cast or leg brace to be removed depends on the severity of the ankle fracture, but is usually around 6 weeks.
When using a cast or leg brace, there are several things to consider, namely:
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy weights and exercising.
- Keep the cast or leg brace from getting wet.
- Move your toes and bend your knees regularly to reduce stiffness.
- Call a doctor if the cast is cracked, too tight or too loose, and if the leg or ankle is painful and uncomfortable.
Don't forget to check back with the doctor a few weeks after the first treatment, to find out the condition of the ankle.
Complications of Broken Ankle
Broken ankle can lead to complications such as:
- bone infection (osteomyelitis)
- Arthritis (arthritis)
- Damage to nerves or blood vessels
- compartment syndrome
Ankle Fracture Prevention
Broken ankle can be prevented by the following steps:
- Using the right shoes and according to environmental conditions
- Warm up before exercising
- Do not exercise excessively
- Maintain bone he alth by increasing the consumption of food sources of calcium and vitamin D
- Losing weight if you are obese
- Maintaining ideal body weight
- Be careful when driving and walking on slippery surfaces