What is fracture treatment?
There are 26 bones in the foot and ankle that can be fractured. Treatment depends on the location and severity of the fracture, as well as your age and general health, which affect your ability to heal.
If the bones are not displaced, conservative therapy may be used. This typically involves a cast or splint and pain medication. Surgical treatment is needed for unstable and displaced fractures. Toe fractures are rarely treated surgically. It’s not uncommon for pieces of broken boneto protrude through the skin with ankle fractures. This is called a compound fracture and will require surgery.
Our specialists at Orthopaedic Clinics Gold Coast will work with you to create the best treatment plan for your particular situation.
How does fracture treatment work?
Surgery involves realigning the bones and holding them in place. In most cases, open surgery is needed to expose the bones and any bone fragments so that they can be placed back in a normal anatomical position. Internal fixation, with pins or screws and plates, holds the bones together while they heal.
Once the repair is finished, the incision is closed with stitches and your lower leg will be placed in a cast.
Some patients can go home on same day as surgery, others need to stay in hospital overnight. Before you go home, your therapist will show you how to care for your cast and walk safely on crutches.
What to expect after fracture treatment
As the surgery holds the bones in place well, you will have use of your foot or ankle even while the bones are healing.
The cast will keep your foot or ankle immobilised for 2 (or more) weeks, although you may be able to move your toes. Once the wound has healed, the stitches will be removed and you will be fitted removable boot. The boot protects the ankle as it heals but can be removed to allow washing and you will be able to walk in it.
You can return to normal activities once the bones are fully healed. Physiotherapy may be useful in regain full movement and strength as early as possible.