Ankle Fractures After an Accident
Oct. 25, 2016
A guy came into the office on crutches. I asked him what happened. He said he was walking down a set of stairs and the handrail broke causing him to lose his balance. He fell to the ground with his ankle under his butt. As soon as he hit the ground he felt a searing pain in his ankle.
His wife took him to the Emergency Room. X-rays showed that his ankle broke in two places. An orthopedic surgeon was called in, took a look at the x-rays and told the client that he had a bimalleolar fracture in the ankle. The doctor explains that he had to go into surgery and he was going to perform an ORIF (open reduction internal fixation).During the procedure, he will open the joint, clean out fragments of bone, and either screw of plate the bones together so they can grown back.
What Is a Bimalleolar Fracture?
A bimalleolar fracture is a break in the medial malleolus the bump on the inside of your ankle. The lateral malleolus is the bottom part of the fibula. It is the bump at the outside of your ankle. The typical mechanism for the fracture. Is forceful inversion and eversion of the ankle which is consistent with our client's description of the incident.
Complications Associated Bimalleolar Fractures
When I represent folks with bimalleolar fractures, my main concern is identifying and documenting the main complications that can impact the client's long term function. The main complications that I worry about include:
Infection because of the hardware;
Nonunion or malunion of the bone;
Post traumatic arthritis; and
Long term loss of motion in the joint.
You can see in the front to back x-ray that the tibia is also dislocated so there is disruption in the joint. Based on this finding the odds are that this guy is going to have difficulty climbing ladders and stairs in the future. These potential consequences have to be identified and accounted for before settling an injury case with a bimalleolar fracture.