Winter Ankle Injuries

The risk of ankle injury is greater during the winter months for
several reasons.  Reduced daylight hours, with late sunrise and early
darkness create poor visibility conditions and increase the risk of slips and falls. In addition,  the presence of ice, snow, and slippery surfaces makes normal outdoor activities more dangerous.

You can reduce your risk of an ankle fracture - learn how.

Risk Factors for Ankle Fractures

Other factors which have a significant contribution to the risk of ankle fracture and ankle injury have been identified.  Ankle fracture is seen to be more common in women and then in men, and younger women have a higher rate of ankle fractures than older women. Increased body mass index (overweight and obesity)  has been found to be a significant risk factor contributing to ankle fracture in several studies. Alcohol also plays a role in many ankle fractures.

Factors such as overweight, increased body mass index, alcohol use and female sex are all linked to ankle fractures.

Osteoporosis, Drugs and Ankle Fractures

Osteoporosis and low bone mineral density play a limited  role in
ankle and foot fractures. Low bone density seems to predispose to
certain types of foot fractures.  Use of benzodiazepine medicines,
which are commonly used as sleep medicines, also increases the risk of ankle fracture.
The use of some kinds of sleep medicines increases fracture risk

Be Careful Hanging up Those Lights and Decorating Your Home!

Decorating your home for the holidays can also result in ankle fractures and severe injuries.  According to recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 6000 people are severely injured every year by falls they sustain while decorating their homes for the holiday season.  Experts recommend taking the time to climb down the ladder and move it where necessary rather than stretching to reach an extra foot or two.
6000 people are injured every year hanging lights during the holidays

Treatment of Ankle and Foot Fractures

Ankle sprains and ankle fractures need to be carefully examined within a few days to make sure that the joint is stable and that walking on the injured part will not result in further damage.  X-rays are often helpful in order to diagnose subtle fractures.

Fractures of the foot and ankle are classified as nondisplaced or displaced.  Nondisplaced injuries are where the bones remain perfectly aligned despite the fracture.  For these injuries, minimally invasive nonsurgical treatments are often the best choice.  However, for displaced fractures, surgical treatment with precise realignment ofthe bones and application of pins and plates to hold the bones while they heal is still the best choice.  Some fractures and injuries of the ankle and foot injuries can be treated with new minimally invasive procedures.

Dr. DeGroot specializes in orthopedic foot and ankle surgery. Click here to set up an appointment.