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 be broken 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 is fitting in that your bone may be crushed 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
A person suffering a high-energy pilon fracture should be stabilized immediately. If the injury causes significant blood loss, it can result in shock and even organ failure. In most cases, surgery will be required to restore your damaged bone to its normal position. However, some stable fractures may be treated nonsurgically through splints, casts, removable braces, monitoring, and a 6-12-week recovery period.
X-rays and CT scans are used to determine a pilon fracture, and surgeries may be delayed for up to two weeks or more to reduce your risk of infection due to significant swelling and/or 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.