As a Burien personal injury attorney, I have seen the damage that a serious auto accident can have on the lower body. When a high speed accident disfigures a vehicle and traps an ankle, or directs force upon it in any way, the result may be a bi-malleolar ankle fracture. This injury is much more serious than a typical ankle fracture, because it means that two of the three bones that make up the ankle are broken. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of this injury because the velocity shoots a great force through the leg and into the foot. Injuries like this are one of the best examples of why it is so important to drive at a safe speed and to be aware of reckless drivers on the road.
Three parts of the leg and foot make up the ankle: the fibula, tibia and talus. When someone sustains a bi-malleolar fracture, it means that two of those three bones are broken. Usually, the two fractured parts are the lateral malleolus (lower inside part of the fibula) and the medial malleolus (lower inside part of the tibia). Doctors will use an x-ray to determine the extent of the fracture and whether or not the ankle is unstable. In the case of bi-malleolar fractures, the ankle is always considered unstable, and surgery is a necessity. Surgeons use screws and plates to allow the bones to stay in place and heal. A leg cast is typical worn to protect the mending process, and the patient is supposed to keep weight off of the ankle for about 6 weeks.
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Common immediate symptoms of a bi-malleolar fracture are severe pain, swelling, bruising, deformity and inability to put weight on the ankle. It is very important for anyone suffering from this injury to see a doctor immediately. The healing process takes a long time, and rehabilitation will always be necessary to regain strength and normal function. If you have fractured your ankle due to someone else’s negligence, you should contact an experienced Seattle car accident lawyer to discuss whether or not you have a case.