The Crushing Truth about Pilon Fractures, Houston
A pilon fracture is a specific type of ankle fracture involving the bottom of your tibia (shinbone) and the weight-bearing surface of your ankle joint. Sometimes, your fibula (lower leg bone) will break as well. Injury can also spread over to your surrounding soft tissues, including your muscles, tendons, and skin. This type of fracture is usually caused by a car accident or a fall from a height. Pilon is the French word for “pestle” – an instrument commonly used for crushing or pounding. Therefore, this name fits in that the bone may fracture into several pieces at the moment of impact. Symptoms may include swelling, bruising, tenderness, noticeable deformities, and an inability to bear weight on your injured leg.
The Prognosis on Pilon Fracture Treatment and Recovery
Immediately stabilize anyone suffering a high-energy pilon fracture. If the injury causes significant blood loss, it can result in shock and even organ failure. In most cases, to restore your damaged bone to its normal position, surgery is required. However, splints, casts, removable braces, and close monitoring are used with stable fractures, with a 6-12-week recovery period.
X-rays and CT scans are used to determine a pilon fracture. Your surgeon may delay surgery for up to two weeks or more to reduce your risk of infection due to significant swelling and blisters. Physical therapy is usually recommended during the recovery period. If you’ve suffered a pilon fracture in the North Houston area, give KSF Orthopaedic Center a call to schedule an exam.