Working as a Kirkland car crash attorney and Bellevue wrongful death lawyer I am always excited to hear of the new innovative safety features being added to cars. Vehicle manufacturers on constantly trying to improve safety features to decrease the number of car accident fatalities; front and side airbags, seat belts, anti-lock brakes, power steering and adjustable head rests are just some of the features that help increase our chance of surviving an auto accident. These increased safety measures have dropped car accident fatalities considerably, however, these features only help protect the upper-body and leave the lower half to fend for itself.
One of these serious lower-body injuries that occurs all too often in serious car accidents is a pilon fracture, which occurs when both bones in the ankle break and damage the soft tissue around them. The symptoms of a pilon fracture are swelling, bruising and intense pain. The ankle will be very sore and unable to hold any amount of weight. In the majority of pilon fractures the bones will be pushed out of place, making the ankle look deformed.
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A doctor can determine the extent of the damage through an x-ray. If a pilon fracture is diagnosed surgery will be required. To heal a pilon fracture, an external device is first used to immobilize the ankle region and the patient is not allowed to put any weight on the ankle while the surrounding tissues heal. After the swelling has decreased and the soft tissue has been given a chance to heal metal plates are usually screwed into the ankle to put the bones back into place and help them return to their proper location. Recovery for this type of injury is lengthy and it typically takes up to six weeks before the injured ankle is able to support weight.