K9 - Orthopaedic Walking Aid
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Walking Aid in Motion

Injuries - Broken Ankle

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Anatomy
broken ankleA broken ankle is a break in one or both of the bones that make up the ankle joint. These bones are the tibia and the fibula. The fracture can be expected to cause pain, swelling, soreness, problems moving your leg and foot, weakness, numbness, tingling, and bruising.

Causes
Ankle breaks, or fractures, can occur in many ways: for example, by falls, contact sports and exercise injuries, and force from a blow.

There are many types of fractures, which determine the severity of the injury and its treatment:

Nondisplaced fracture: the broken pieces of bone remain properly aligned
Displaced fracture: the broken pieces of bone are not properly aligned
Comminuted fracture: there are more than two pieces of bone at the fracture
Compound (open) fracture: one end of the broken bone has broken through the skin
Closed fracture: neither end of the broken bone has pierced the skin
Impacted fracture: the ends of the broken bone are driven into each other
Avulsion fracture: the muscle or ligament has pulled a portion of the bone away from where it was originally attached
Pathological fracture: the bone has been weakened or destroyed by disease (such as osteoporosis) so that the bone breaks easily

Treatment
The immediate emergency treatment for a fractured ankle is immobilisation (keeping it from moving), elevation, compression (wrapping it with an elastic or Ace bandage), and the application of ice packs.

The doctor may need to set your ankle bone back into its proper place and put you in a cast for 6 to 8 weeks. If the fracture is not too severe, you may be able to walk in the cast after a short period.

If the ankle bone cannot be aligned perfectly before it is ready for a cast, surgery will be necessary.

In the first 2 to 3 weeks after the injury, be sure to keep your ankle elevated on pillows and place ice packs on top of the cast for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours to help reduce swelling. 

Immobilisation of a leg in a cast can cause the joints to stiffen and the muscles to weaken in both legs. However, using an Orthopaedic Leg Trolley ensures you remain weight bearing above the knee to prevent muscle wastage. 

After you come out of the cast, your doctor or physical therapist will recommend exercises for both legs that will improve their strength and range of motion.

If you have suffered a broken ankle and would like further details on the Orthopaedic Leg Trolley please contact us.

 

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