Pilon Fractures

Pilon fractures occur where the shinbone meets the ankle joint, at a very fragile point on the leg. These fractures are usually caused by a large force or impact and are most often caused by falls, car accidents, and skiing.  Men are three times more likely than women to have this injury.  Likely symptoms include severe pain, swelling, bruising, deformity of the ankle, and inability to bear weight on the injured leg.

Symptoms 

A pilon fracture typically causes pain, tenderness, bruising, swelling and some deformity of the lower leg/upper ankle joint.   You may experience tenderness of the lower leg and ankle bone and inability to move the lower leg and/or ankle area.  You will experience some weakness of the leg area around the injury and possible leg numbness below the injury and in the ankle/foot area.

Diagnosis 

These injuries can occur due to a traumatic incident or a fall. Dr. Louis will perform a thorough examination to evaluate and determine the extent of your arm injuries and conduct a complete review of your medical history.

He may also utilized diagnostic tools such as an MRI, X-ray or CT scan to confirm the extent of your condition.

Treatment

If the fracture does not affect the bone placement within the leg, doctors can treat the injury non-surgically by placing a cast on the leg. However, most pilon fibula fractures must be treated with surgery. Dr. Louis has extensive experience with this type of injury and recommends waiting until the swelling around the injury goes down before performing surgery.  He typically places an external fixator across the ankle for ten to fourteen days before performing the fixation with plates and screws to hold the bone in place until it has healed.