Ankle Fractures

NY Ankle Fracture Surgery


With everything we do in our lives, we depend on our ankles to help provide us with support, stability, and mobility. With such demands imposed, the ankle is a common joint that gets injured. Depending on the force or position that occurs during an injury, different structures may give way, or break, within the ankle joint.

Not all ankle fractures need to be treated surgically. Some may simply be treated with a boot in conjunction with rest, elevation and possibly restrictions in weight bearing. Indications for surgery include a significant amount of displacement or instability of the joint. We can usually evaluate this with an x-ray, but sometimes a CT scan is needed to look at the fracture pattern in more detail before deciding on surgical intervention.

Located in New York, Dr. Levine is a foot and ankle orthopaedist that has vast experience in traumatology and reconstructive surgery. He uses state of the art and groundbreaking techniques that are designed to aide in better fixation of your fracture leading to better outcomes for you. This gives you the opportunity to start your rehabilitation quicker, starting movement and therapy as early as two weeks post-operatively.

Types of fractures involving the ankle


The tibia is the larger shin bone that is responsible for the majority of weight bearing. It forms the prominence on the inside of your ankle known as the medial malleolus. There is also another area in the back of the tibia that may fracture called the posterior malleolus.


The fibula is the smaller bone on the outside of the leg. It forms the prominence on the outside of your ankle known as the lateral malleolus. Bimalleolar: A bimalleolar fracture refers to a fracture that involves two of the malleoli.


A trimalleolar fracture refers to a fracture that involves the medial, posterior, and lateral malleoli.


A pilon or plafond fracture refers to a special form of an ankle fracture that extends to the weight bearing joint surface. This can result from a higher energy type of injury. These fractures need to be treated by an expert in this field in order to realign the bone as close to anatomic position as possible. Sometimes these fractures can lead to post-traumatic arthritis. If not treated appropriately there is a much higher risk of this developing.


The talus makes up the bottom part of the ankle joint. It can be thought of as the foot's contribution to the ankle. Surgery with someone that has experience treating these fractures is very important.

What to expect if you need surgery

HSS is a hospital that performs only orthopaedic surgeries. Therefore, we have a highly specialized group of physician assistants, nurses, and anesthesiologists that assist the surgeon during your surgery as well as during the post-operative period to ensure that you receive the best care. Often times you will be able to go home the same day, but some surgeries or medical conditions may require you to stay overnight. If you live in New York or surrounding areas, Dr. Levine's office staff will help you arrange a day for surgery.

Additional Information on Ankle Fractures

An ankle fracture, which is a break of the ankle bones, can be one of the more debilitating injuries out there. Injuries that occur to the ankle or foot region can cause a major inconvenience for both the injured person and their loved ones. That is why it is vital to find a NY orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon you can trust to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.


Ankle injuries are among the most common of all bone and joint injuries. Usually, the level of pain, the inability to walk, or the possibility that a bone may be broken are the typical reasons why you would seek out care for these injuries.


Essentially, your ultimate concern will be if there is a broken bone. It is normally impossible to diagnose a fracture (broken bone) rather than a sprain, a dislocation, or tendon injury without having X-rays taken of the ankle. You will need to find an office in New York with foot and ankle surgeons that can correctly diagnose your injury during a clinical examination.


Ankle fractures might need treatment based on the stability of the ankle joint which corresponds to the pattern of injury. Lateral malleolus fractures on the outer side of the ankle are one of the most common types of ankle fractures. While isolated fractures of the lateral malleolus may be treated without a surgical procedure, injuries involving the medial side or syndesmosis frequently do. When both sides of the ankle are injured, this is called a bimalleolar fracture. Surgery is needed to re-establish the bony relationship of the joint as well as give the ankle stability. Surgical treatment for ankle fractures include 1 or 2 incisions placed on the lateral and medial areas of the ankle over the site of the fracture. The bony pieces are re-positioned and kept in place with a combination of plates and screws.


Ankle fractures generally call for surgical treatment. Most frequently, an open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) is recommended.  This surgery typically consists of implanted metal hardware that holds the bones in position while the natural healing process takes place.


Surgical treatment of ankle fractures permits people to regain ankle mobility while the bones and joint recover. Immediately after a surgical procedure, your ankle will be placed in a splint for two weeks. Once the wounds are healed, you will most likely be fitted for a boot. Most surgeons make use of a removable boot for recovery. The boot secures the ankle as it heals yet can be removed to allow washing, wound checks, and icing. Early range of motion exercises begin at this point as well.


Some ankle fractures are more complex and require additional fixation techniques. In these cases, your fracture may require more healing time and may require another surgery to remove some of the hardware. This is called a syndesmosis injury.


When the effected bones start to heal, you can put weight on the ankle. This begins in the boot. After that, you will then be allowed to wean yourself from the boot and into an ankle brace that fits in your sneaker. You can go back to typical activities once the bones are completely recovered. Most people may need physical therapy for their ankle to gain back full range of motion, as well as strength. While everybody is different, it could take up to a year after surgery for some patients to gain back full ankle strength and mobility.


If you are located in New York and are in search of a foot and ankle surgeon contact our office at 212-606-1940.

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