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Common Types of Ankle Fractures Explained

One of the most common types of injury that affects the ankle is fractures. There are a variety of ankle fractures that affect different parts of the leg bones and require different types of treatment. Only an orthopedic doctor can diagnose an ankle fracture and recommend a treatment plan. However, understanding the different types of fractures can help determine what the future holds for you if you have an ankle fracture. Read on to learn about a few of the most common types of ankle fractures.

Bimalleolar Ankle Fracture

Bimalleolar fractures happen when the inside and outside of the ankle experience injuries. Since it affects the tibia and fibula, the ankle joint is left unstable. For most patients, foot specialists recommend surgery. If the fracture fails to heal perfectly, it can cause the joint to be misaligned and cause accelerated arthritis in the ankle.

Bimalleolar Equivalent Fracture

Fractures of the fibula that also affect the ligaments are known as bimalleolar equivalent fractures. Typically, with these fractures, the ligaments are torn on the inner side of the ankle. This results in ankle joint instability and necessitates surgery.

Trimalleolar Fracture

Similar to bimalleolar fractures, trimalleolar fractures affect the inside and outside of the ankle, along with the back of the tibia (the posterior malleolus). The surgery for this kind of ankle fracture is the same as the treatment for bimalleolar ankle fractures. If a big part of the bone is fractured, however, the doctor will amend the surgical procedure to address the fragment.

Lateral Malleolus Fracture

This is the most common type of ankle fracture. Lateral Malleolus fractures impact only the fibula and, in general, can be treated without the use of surgery. However, it is vital to make sure that the affected ankle joint stays stable. Though the bone is broken, the ankle joint is often able to function as usual. In the case of an unstable ankle joint or injured ligaments, orthopedic specialists foot and ankle in The Woodlands, TX, will recommend surgery.

Maisonneuve Fracture

This uncommon injury can affect the tibia and fibula. Though they do not occur often, orthopedic specialists must still check for Maisonneuve fractures since they are otherwise easy to miss. With this kind of fracture, the medial malleolus is damaged. Though the lateral malleolus will remain unaffected, there is a fracture on the fibula usually close to the knee. Through a process called syndesmosis, the force of the wound winds through the ligament that connects the leg bones. The harm to the ligaments results in the ankle feeling unstable. Maisonneuve fractures can be treated with surgery.

Medial Malleolus Fracture

Medial Malleolus fractures occur on the inner side of the ankle and affect the end of the tibia. This part of the tibia is also called the medial malleolus. Usually, doctors recommend surgery to treat an out-of-place medial malleolus.

Posterior Malleolus Fracture

This type of fracture affects the tibia and is rarely found on its own. In general, it is found in conjunction with bimalleolar ankle fractures. When someone experiences both of these types of fractures, it is called a trimalleolar ankle fracture, which was mentioned above.

If you are experiencing any sort of foot or ankle pain, contact us at the Ankle & Foot Specialists of Conroe, The Woodlands to schedule an appointment.