While most people may best know ankle fractures as a typical sports injury, there are many different ways in which one can happen. I have seen this injury occur in numerous auto accident cases. While cars have many safety features in them that have gone a long way towards preventing many injuries, severe auto accidents can still cause serious damage. The lower body is not well protected in the event of an auto accident, leaving the ankle especially vulnerable if the body is ejected from the vehicle or stuck inside a crushed car.
A resected distal fibula is one of these severe lower body injuries. As the most prominent bone on the outside of the ankle, the distal fibula is very susceptible to injury. When an ankle is rolled or twisted, the distal fibula is in the position to experience the most pressure. A fracture involving the distal fibula can sometimes be mistaken for a simple ankle sprain, but it is actually much worse. An ankle fracture will only occur when there is enough external force that pushes on the joints to cause a crack or break in the bone. The difference between a fast and long-term recovery can be found in whether or not the injury was properly diagnosed, and how quickly it was treated.
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The ankle joint is made up of three bones: the distal tibia, distal fibula and talus bones. A properly functioning ankle is dependent on these three parts to work in cohesion. With any of these parts disabled, the ankle will become unstable, and painful to place any weight on. To help the mobility of someone who sustained a minor ankle fracture, the doctor will fit the person with a splint or an air cast. If the pain is too great, then crutches may be necessary to get around. If there is a slight pain that continues for a long time after treatment, then it may be possible that the ankle bones did not fuse together properly. In this case, a surgery known as an “ankle fusion” may need to be performed. In this operation, a surgeon will make an incision in the skin to open the joint, and then cut the cartilage between the ankle joints. This may take anywhere around eight to twelve weeks to fully heal.