Whenever you break a bone in your body it can be quite devastating and breaking your ankle is even more so since it means that you are unable to use the leg whose ankle has been done in. It also means that this situation continues for a certain period of time depending on the severity of your condition. This is why you need to ask your ankle surgeon some important questions before you take any important decision as such. The first thing that you should be asking is what you should do in case you suspect your ankle has been broken.
A broken ankle – what to do?
As any doctor would tell you, in such a situation the first thing that you should do is get treatment. In case you cannot get the local podiatric surgeon to initiate the process you should go to the emergency room of the hospital that is nearest to your home. At least, you would get some medicines to reduce your pain for the time being and some x-rays would also be done in order to assess the extent of the damage that your ankle may have suffered. In case you have indeed suffered a fracture and the fractured parts have moved too far then you would be given pills to bring down the pain.
After this they would manually try and close the gap with some protective casing or the other. The decision of surgery is normally taken on the basis of the condition of your ankle. In case there is no need to do surgery then your leg will be put in a fiberglass cast and you will also be given crutches to walk on. At times, you would also be provided a wheelchair or walker for going around so that no weight is put on that foot.
How to determine what has happened?
X-rays are the only way in which you can determine if you have just sprained your ankle or broken it. In case of both sprain and fracture the symptoms are the same – you do get blisters, bruising, swelling, redness, and pain with both the ailments. Normally when you break a bone there is pain everywhere in the bone but at times this happens in case of a sprain as well. In case of fractures that are intricate in nature your doctors may also ask you to get a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.
The need for surgery:
In case there is no chance that your bones can be put back together manually then you would definitely need a surgery. These surgeries are also known as open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF). Normally it would take you around 6 to 8 weeks in order to recover. However, a lot depends on your health condition. If you smoke, if you are suffering from diabetes, if your body does not have sufficient nutrition, and if your blood circulation is not up to the mark then it would take you a lot of time to get well from such a surgery.