If you are experiencing ankle pain after a Kansas City car crash, the emergency room doctor will order an x-ray of your ankle. A CT scan or an MRI may be ordered to determine if there has been any injury to the cartilage and tendons around the ankle.
If there is a lot of swelling, the doctor may order a special X-ray called a "stress test." This is done to see if an ankle fracture requires surgery. Surgery is necessary in the following cases:
- There are multiple fractures
- The fracture is unstable or there are displaced bones
- The fracture resulted in loose bone fragments that could enter a joint
- There damage to the surrounding ligaments
- Fractures extend into a joint
- Trimalleolar ankle fractures
Trimalleolar ankle fractures are very serious Missouri car accident injuries involving all three bones in the ankle. Learn more about trimalleolar ankle fractures in "Missouri Car Crash Ankle Injuries, Part 3: Trimalleolar Ankle Fractures." (link to library #17, not yet uploaded)
If the bone has broken through the skin, the injury will be cared for and you will be prescribed antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
If your ankle is broken and the break is not complex, the doctor will splint your leg and foot to immobilize the ankle until the swelling goes down. You will be given medicine for the pain and swelling and will be told to follow up with your doctor or an orthopedist.
The orthopedist will take additional x-rays to check the alignment of the broken bone. If the swelling has gone down and there is no displacement of the bones, the ankle will be put in a plaster cast. The cast will help hold the bones in place as they heal.
If the bones are displaced, they will have to be realigned before a cast can be put on. This is a painful process, so if your bones need to be reset, you will be given anesthesia.
If you have a severely broken ankle with multiple fractures or crushed bones, you may have to have wires, plates, rods, or screws surgically implanted into the broken bone to maintain proper alignment while it heals.
While the cast is on the foot, you may need to use crutches to help keep the weight of your ankle. You will have to avoid any activities that put stress on your foot. Call your doctor if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:
- There is new swelling above or below the site of the fracture
- Your toenails or feet turn grey or blue and elevating your leg does not return it to its normal color.
- Your skin feels numb or tingly below the fracture
- You feel a burning pain under the cast
- Your pain is not alleviated with pain medication
If there are no complications, your cast will be removed after six to eight weeks - but this isn't the end of treatment. You will need physical therapy to improve the leg's strength and the ankle's range of motion before you can resume your normal activities. This may take several months. It is important that you don't rush getting back to normal; you could permanently injure your ankle.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.