As you may already know, Dak Prescott suffered a severe ankle fracture. In fact, it may be a career-ending injury or at least career-changing. So let’s go through a few treatment concepts regarding how he may be treated, and what his recovery might be.
A fracture (or broken bone) is a disruption, or break, in a bone. Some fractures, called stress fractures, are microscopic, and these can usually be treated by restricting activity on the limb that is broken.
Fractures can be classified in several different ways. Among the major classes are:
- "Torus" or "greenstick" fractures, in which the bone is not broken all the way around. These always occur in the bones of children, which are less brittle than those of adults
- Breaks in which the bone is broken all the way around but one piece is not displaced (moved away from) the other piece. These usually occur in mature, adult bones.
- Breaks in which the bone is broken all the way around and displaced. Displaced fractures usually require surgery.
- Open versus closed fractures. In an open fracture, the bone has protruded through the skin.
General Symptoms of a Fracture Include:
- Deformity (In acute cases, such as Dak's)
The Principal Goal of Treatment Is for the Bone Pieces to Heal Together, as They Were Before the Break.
There are three main bones that might be involved in an ankle fracture: medial or lateral malleolus; the posterior lip of the tibia; and/or the talar dome. The ligaments of the ankle joint may also be dislocated and/or ruptured. An ankle fracture may be a stress fracture, torus, greenstick, or broken all the way around, displaced or not, open or closed. Pain is severe and immediate, and the victim usually falls down.
Causes of an Ankle Fracture?
Ankle fractures are usually caused by a sharp blow or unusual stress to the bone or an unnatural rotation or twisting, such as caused by a sudden change in direction. It is a common injury in such sports as football, soccer, and distance jumping.
Other Contributing Factors include:
- Activities that involve the causes discussed above, such as playing certain sports (Football and Soccer especially)
- Walking or running on uneven surfaces, such as road surfaces with potholes
- Shoes with inadequate support to prevent the foot from "rolling" when the stress is encountered
- Previous ankle injuries
- Inadequate muscle strength or conditioning
Symptoms of an Ankle Fracture?
The most obvious symptom is acute and immediate pain in the ankle. The victim may sense a popping or tearing feeling, and a popping sound may be heard at the time of the fracture. Walking is difficult or impossible, swelling and bruising is immediate in the foot and ankle. There may also be deformity, and if the break is open, the bone may be visible protruding through the skin.
A physician's care is required to address this problem. A cast may be all that is necessary. Surgery to pin broken bones is often but not always required, so an accurate diagnosis is essential. Physical therapy after removal of a cast is or brace is also usually needed.
In severe ankle fractures, ankle replacement surgery may be required. Prevention of fractures and other injuries can, for athletes, be undertaken with conditioning programs, proper warm-up exercises, taping the ankle, and wearing supportive shoes.
Get the Ankle Procedure or Treatment You Need
Our foot and ankle doctors are dedicated to finding the right treatment for each individual patient and try to avoid surgical intervention unless we feel it is the best option. No two patients or surgeries are exactly alike, and we carefully address any current health problems, underlying conditions, and potential effects of a procedure before recommending surgery. In cases where surgery is necessary, our podiatrists have the experience and training not just to perform the procedure, but to ensure that each patient receives the follow-up care necessary to provide long-term relief.
Call our office today at (301) 515-3338 or fill out our contact form to get learn more about our interventions and treatments.