Ankle Fracture Repair Washington DC

The human ankle is an intricate joint in our body. The bones that form the ankle are the tibia, talus, and fibula. The talus is the ankle bone that is most prone to cartilage injury and is considered a weight-bearing joint. Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue found in many parts of the body. The primary function of cartilage is to connect our bones. Many other connective tissues contain blood vessels; however, cartilage does not. When a person breaks the cartilage in their ankle, it causes injury to tendons and muscles, which can be extremely painful in the ankle. Dr. Benjamin Stein is a specialist in Ankle Fracture Repair Washington DC. On this page, we will discuss sprains, fractures, symptoms of injury and the diagnosis of ankle fractures.

Ankle Sprains

Spraining your ankle is the most common injury men, and women suffer. In the U.S., orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors treat over 23,000 ankle injuries. If you play basketball, soccer, volleyball, football, or baseball, then you are even more prone to an ankle sprain. When you sprain your ankle, it means the ligament has torn. Also, one or more ligaments in a joint, in this case, your ankle, have been injured. Simply, ankle sprains are an injury caused by stretching or extending your joint beyond the normal range of motion.

Ankle Fractures

Fractures are medically defined as a complete or a partial break in a bone. Your main symptom is pain. Ankle fracture repair Washington DC has quickly been described as the leading cause of cartilage damage. In terms of ankle injuries, the bone and cartilage are referred to as “osteochondral” defects or lesions of your talus. To recap, “osteo” is referring to the bone and “chondral” refers to ankle cartilage.

Many people are unaware they have suffered an ankle fracture and think it is merely a sprain. Because of this, orthopedic surgeons treat new and long-term ankle fractures. If you are in chronic pain because of an ankle fracture, it is due to insufficient stability of your ligaments. Another way to look at this is that cartilage injury is more likely to happen due to the seriousness of your injury.

Symptoms of Ankle Injury

The singular most common symptom of an ankle injury, sprain or fracture, is acute pain. Patients describe the pain as feeling deep inside their ankle. Swelling of your ankle is another visible sign of injury. Stiffness, weakness, locking, and catching of your ankle are also symptomatic of an ankle injury. People will wait for years with an ankle injury to see an orthopedist. This is especially true in athletes. Athletes will put up with pain and continue to play and train even with numerous injuries which in turn may lead to more injuries (and is often the case).

Other Common Ankle Injuries

How does Dr. Stein diagnose ankle fractures?

Orthopedic surgeon in Washington D.C. may inject a local anesthetic in your ankle joint to determine if the pain you feel is because of cartilage damage or other issues. These are other symptoms of pain that Dr. Stein looks for when treating ankle fracture repair Washington DC:

  • Ligament instability;
  • Deep bruises to the ankle bone;
  • Floating bone chips;
  • Prior ankle fractures;
  • Injury to the tendon;
  • Damage from stretching;
  • Nerve pain;
  • Scar tissue in your ankle;

X-rays are the first route Dr. Stein takes to diagnose an ankle sprain. This allows him to treat not only your injury, but pain, too. There are specific instances of ankle cartilage damage that an x-ray will not identify. Have you had severe pain in your ankle for three (3) to four (4) months? If you have, then an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is most likely necessary. If you require ankle surgery, an MRI gives Dr. Stein a better diagnostic assessment as he prepares a surgical plan.