On each side of the ankle is a bone that sticks out, often referred to as a knuckle. These knuckles are the malleoli. The medial malleolus is the knuckle on the inside of the ankle. A fracture of the medial malleolus is usually caused by an impact to the ankle joint, often in a car accident or a fall.
Signs of a Fractured Medial Malleolus
When the medial malleolus has been broken, the ankle will be bruised and swollen and may appear to be out of place. It will typically be very difficult to place any weight on the ankle.
An x-ray, CT scan, or MRI will show the exact location of the fracture and whether there is any displacement of the bone fragments.
Kinds of Medial Malleolar Fractures and Their Treatment
There are five fracture patterns that occur to the medial malleolus, and treatment may depend on which type you have.
- Avulsion fracture, also called a “fleck” fracture, in which fragments are too small to allow fixation. These are usually treated conservatively.
- Transverse fracture, at or below the joint line, usually repaired surgically with one or more screws and/or wires, or with a tension band to hold the bones together.
- Oblique fractures, which are surgically repaired with two screws.
- Long oblique or vertical fractures are displaced fractures, which are repaired with a malleolar screw with a trocar tip that goes into the cortex of the tibia. Sometimes, an anti-glide plate is used instead to keep the bone from moving.
- Comminuted fracture, with multiple fragments, treated surgically by using a tension band technique with K-wires in the two largest fragments
If there is an impaction or indenting of the ankle joint, a bone graft may be required to prevent arthritis in the future.
When the bone has healed following the surgery, you can begin physical therapy to restore the range of motion.
A fracture of the medial malleolus usually takes 6-8 weeks to heal, and up to 6 months before full function of the ankle returns.
Making a Claim to Recover Losses
If you have fractured your ankle in a car accident, slip and fall, or other accident that was caused by another person’s carelessness or negligence, you may be able to recover money to compensate you for your financial losses as well as your pain and suffering. This is best accomplished with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. You should not make a statement or sign any papers for the insurance adjuster until you have consulted a lawyer.
If you have questions about your accident and need to get answers now, Jim Dodson, a personal injury attorney in Clearwater, Florida, with more than 25 years experience in helping accident victims, is available to answer them. Give Jim a call when you are ready to talk.