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Ankle

If you suspect your child has a broken ankle, visit the fracture clinic at one of our three convenient locations. At Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists, you never have to wait for long.

If your child needs surgery or casting, our fracture clinic is open everyday and no appointment is necessary. Surgery rooms are scheduled every morning so your child receives the care and attention they need right away.

Broken and fractured ankles

A broken ankle is also known as an ankle “fracture.” This means one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken.

A fractured ankle can range from a simple break in one bone, which may not stop your child from walking, to several fractures, which forces the ankle out of place and may require your child not put weight on it for a few months.

Simply put, the more bones that are broken, the more unstable the ankle becomes. There may be ligaments damaged as well. The ligaments of the ankle hold the ankle bones and joint in position.

Three bones make up the ankle joint:

  • Tibia – shinbone
  • Fibula – smaller bone of the lower leg
  • Talus – a small bone that sits between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the tibia and fibula

The tibia and fibula have specific parts that make up the ankle:

  • Medial malleolus – inside part of the tibia
  • Posterior malleolus – back part of the tibia
  • Lateral malleolus – end of the fibula

Symptoms

Because a severe ankle sprain can feel the same as a broken ankle, every ankle injury should be evaluated by a pediatric orthopedic physician who specializes in the treatment of children to assure your child’s ankle is set properly.

Common symptoms for a broken ankle include:

  • Immediate and severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tender to touch
  • Cannot put any weight on the injured foot
  • Looks “out of place,” particularly if the ankle joint is dislocated as well

Diagnoses

If you suspect your child has a broken ankle, visit one the fracture clinic at one of our three convenient locations.  At Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists, we are open daily and no appointment is necessary.

After discussing your medical history, symptoms, and how the injury occurred, one of our board-certified pediatric physicians will carefully examine your child’s ankle, foot, and lower leg. If your physician suspects an ankle fracture, he may take an x-ray with our EOS machine which has low radiation exposure to see if the ankle fracture requires surgery.

Treatment

Treatments for a broken ankle or broken foot will vary, depending on which bone has been broken and the severity of the injury. In children, fractures can affect the growth and development of the bones. This is because children have many bone growth plates, a part of the bone where bone growth takes place. Bone growth continues throughout childhood and if one of these growth plates is involved in a fracture, it may affect bone development.

It’s especially important to pay attention to growth plates

The pediatric physicians at Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists have expertise in treating children with broken ankles. We pay close attention to the growth plates involved in a child’s growth and development.”

Shyam Kishan, MD

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Procedures for a broken ankle

Reduction. If you have a displaced fracture, meaning the two ends of the fracture are not aligned, your doctor may need to manipulate the pieces back into their proper positions — a process called reduction. Depending on the amount of pain and swelling you have, you may need a muscle relaxant, a sedative or even a general anesthetic before this procedure.

Immobilization. To heal, a broken bone must be immobilized so that its ends can knit back together. In most cases, this requires a cast.

Minor foot fractures may only need a removable brace, boot or shoe with a stiff sole. A fractured toe is usually taped to a neighboring toe, with a piece of gauze between them.

Surgery. In some cases, one of our pediatric orthopedic physicians may need to use pins, plates or screws to maintain proper position of your bones during healing. These materials may be removed after the fracture has healed if they are prominent or painful.

“The pediatric physicians at Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists have experience and expertise in the treatment of broken ankles. Our board-certified pediatric physicians specialize in the treatment of children and adolescents and can give your child the care and attention they deserve.”
Richard Hostin, M.D.

Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.

Comprehensive services for children from birth through adolescence at three convenient locations: Dallas, Frisco and McKinney.