Ankle Fracture Specialist

Christopher Farrell, M.D. -  - Orthopedic Surgery

Maryland Orthopedic Institute

Christopher Farrell, M.D.

Orthopedic Surgery located in Bethesda, MD

Ankles are a body part that receives very little attention until something goes wrong. Fortunately, Dr. Christopher Farrell and the team at Maryland Orthopedic Institute are standing by to assist those in Bethesda, Maryland who sustain an ankle fracture. If you suspect that you’ve broken a bone in your ankle, don’t delay seeking treatment. Call or use the online scheduling option to book an appointment time for a full diagnostic workup.

Ankle Fracture Q & A

What is an ankle fracture?

The term ankle fracture refers to one or more broken bones in the ankle joint. An ankle fracture can be relatively straightforward or involve multiple bones.

Your ankle has three bones, the tibia, fibula, and talus. There are two different joints in your ankle and several ligaments and muscles that keep the joint stable.

Given the amount of force and different demands placed on your ankles each day, it’s surprising that they don’t sustain damage more frequently.

What are some common causes of ankle fracture?

Numerous things can cause one or more broken bones in your ankle. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Trips and falls
  • “Rolling” your ankle while walking or running
  • Traumatic injury
  • Twisting or rotating your ankle joint

You may be able to walk on a fractured ankle, and could even go days or weeks without severe pain. Leaving a fracture untreated, however, can have serious long-term consequences.

If an ankle fracture doesn't receive prompt treatment, the bones can shift out of position and heal in a state of misalignment. This is known as a malunion, and can eventually cause arthritis in the affected joint.

How are ankle fractures treated?

Dr. Farrell completes a thorough diagnostic exam before determining a course of treatment. Depending on the stability of your ankle and the extent and type of fracture(s) he may use a splint or cast to immobilize the joint.

Realigning the bones without surgery may be possible. A cast or splint keeps the bones in the proper position until healing is complete.

In other cases, surgery is necessary to reach proper bone alignment and address other tissue damage in the joint. You may require pain medications and assistive devices as your fracture heals.

Can ankle surgery be done arthroscopically?

Advancements in medical technology have made it possible to complete many types of joint repair using arthroscopic surgery. That means a reduced risk of bleeding and side effects, as well as a shorter recovery time.

The tools used to complete arthroscopic ankle procedures are incredibly small, yet they offer an excellent view of the joint and allow sufficient room to complete many repairs. 

During your diagnostic appointment, Dr. Farrell will discuss the surgical approach that is best for your specific needs. Schedule an appointment today online or over the phone.