Annette Caporusso, DPM, FACFS
Chippewa Valley Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Icy conditions cause falls and broken ankles
Slippery conditions inevitably cause serious injuries from ice-related falls. Falls on icy surfaces are a major cause of ankle sprains and fractures, and it’s critical to seek prompt treatment to prevent further damage that can prolong recovery. The ankle joint is vulnerable to serious injury from hard falls on ice.
Ice accelerates the fall and often causes more severe trauma because the foot can go in any direction after slipping. In cases of less severe fractures and sprains, it is possible to walk and mistakenly believe the injury doesn’t require medical treatment. Never assume the ability to walk means your ankle isn’t broken or badly sprained. Putting weight on the injured joint can worsen the problem and lead to chronic instability, joint pain and arthritis later in life.
Some people may fracture and sprain an ankle at the same time, and a bad sprain can mask the fracture. It’s best to have an injured ankle evaluated as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you can’t see a foot and ankle surgeon or visit the emergency room right away, follow the RICE technique until medical care is available.
Most ankle fractures and some sprains are treated by immobilizing the joint in a cast or splint to foster union and healing. However, surgery may be needed to repair fractures with significant misalignment to unite bone fragments and realign them properly. Newly designed surgical plates and screws allow repair of these injuries with less surgical trauma. With newer bone-fixation methods, there are smaller incisions to minimize tissue damage and bleeding and accelerate the healing process. If you slip or fall and hurt your ankle, the best advice is to seek medical attention immediately. This aids in early diagnosis and proper treatment of the ankle injury and reduces the risk of further damage.
Dr. Caporusso is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). For further information about ankle fractures and sprains or other foot and ankle problems, contact
Dr. Caporusso at (715) 832-1400.
Dr. Annette Caporusso–Chippewa Valley Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
For information or to schedule an appointment:
715-832-1400 | www.cvosm.com
Dr. Caporusso sees patients in Altoona, Chippewa Falls and Stanley.