An ankle fracture or broken is among the most frequent ankle injuries that affect the lower leg. A fractured ankle is defined as having at least one fractured bone within the joint of your ankle. If you suspect that you've fractured an ankle bone, then the first thing to do is consult your physician. Following your visit to the doctor, you'll take charge of the follow-up treatment and healing. Continue reading to find out what you can expect from a broken ankle treatment strategy.
At-Home Fractured Ankle Treatments
The treatment for an ankle fracture depends on the type of injury and the extent. However, there are remedies at home that can aid in reducing swelling and pain that can result from a fractured ankle.
The RICE Treatment
Most of the time, the doctor will put a splint on your ankle and make you take a break for a certain amount before getting an ankle cast put on. This will allow the swelling to subside on your ankle and foot. At this point, you can use your RICE acronym to ease the pain and allow swelling to diminish.
This first step is simple, stay off your injured ankle to avoid adding extra stress to the lower leg.
Cold therapy treatment for ankle injuries is a cost-effective method to ease swelling and pain. An ankle fracture can cause the soft tissue around it to increase in size, which can cause swelling and bruising.
Cover your ankle with a Cold therapy pack for 20 mins at an interval. Be careful not to put a cold therapy pack directly onto your skin. Also, you should never sleep with a cold therapy pack on.
It also reduces swelling. The fluid doesn't get absorbed into soft tissue due to being compressed with a splint or bandage. When compressing your ankle, ensure that you tighten it enough to stop swelling but not tight enough to limit blood flow.
Elevating your ankle and foot can help reduce pain and swelling. For example, put a pillow underneath your lower leg while resting on a cushion to lift your foot above your heart. The ankle injured is raised this high is more effective in helping to increase the flow of blood.
Fractured Ankle Exercises
It's not the first option you think of to treat an injured ankle. However, once your ankle fracture is healed and the cast is removed, it's time to get your ankle moving. Training will allow you to regain the motion range and strength you've lost from maintaining your ankle bones in a sling.
Always consult your doctor before you begin to start exercising.
An ankle brace can assist in immobilizing your ankle and speed up healing. There are a variety of ankle braces, each with diverse levels of help. When you begin to move back into your routine, it's an excellent option to choose the suitable mount to keep the ankle joint steady; however, it allows you to walk, engage in activities, and go back to your routine. Its compression and the support provided by ligaments can also reduce the risk of an ankle strain injury.
Each ankle fracture requires professional care. The doctor will most likely begin with a physical examination and an x-ray to assess the extent and size of the injury. After all, tests are completed, the doctor will discuss the treatment plan. Here are some possible treatment options you might encounter with an injured ankle.
If your ankle shows displacement or a gap between your broken bones, then a physician may need to make a reduction. This is where the doctor physically moves the bones back into their proper place without surgery. It can be painful, and you'll be prescribed medications to help the muscles relax and reduce the discomfort.
A physical therapist will assist you in recovering from your broken bone. They will lead you through a sequence of exercises and stretches and then take you home with a manual of your movements for you to carry on your rehab. This is a vital part of the rehabilitation process that will ensure you recover your lost strength. Walking with no limps and regaining strength can take a few months.
If you imagine a fractured bone, you might think of casts for your legs. A short leg cast can be utilized for certain ankle fractures, but not on all. The severity of your fracture and its location will decide if you should be cast. Most of the time, you will not receive an ankle cast for about two weeks following the injury. This will allow swelling to decrease before casting. An orthopedic specialist will talk with you about the options available and will determine which is the best option for you
Everyone doesn't need to undergo surgery to repair their ankle fracture. However, it is more likely that you require it if there's some reason why your ankle is not healing as it should; for instance, causes are when your bone is off-balance after the break, when a bone fractures through the tissue, or severe fractures in which the bone splits into several pieces.
If your doctor concludes that you require surgery, you might need an open reduction or Internal fixation (ORIF). An available drop occurs when an orthopedic surgeon surgically realigns the fractured bones. In an internal fixation surgical procedure, the surgeon attaches the bones with plates, screws, or other instruments. The procedure is designed to ensure that your bones are healed in the correct location.
Staying Mobile During Recovery
You've fractured one or more bones in the ankle, and your orthopedic surgeon or doctor has informed you that you should not carry weight on your foot. Being mobile is very difficult. One solution is to use a knee walker. With this device, you'll remain completely weight-free and get around without much effort. Another option is hand crutches for the upper arm. It isn't entirely weight-carrying using these, but they're an excellent option if you can put a small amount of pressure on your feet.
Choosing the Right Ankle Treatment
An ankle fracture can result in fractures in the tibia, fibula, or talus. In addition, it could result in you being taken to the emergency room in extreme discomfort. An ER orthopedic doctor or orthopedic surgeon will examine your foot and lower leg and may request ankle radiography. The treatment plan you choose will depend on the severity of your ankle injury and could involve a cast, splint, surgery repair, and physical therapy. Whatever method your doctor recommends, you'll have to participate actively in your rehabilitation and treatment for a speedy recovery.