Talus Fracture Treatment | Bone Fracture Surgery | Fractured Talus Symptoms, Healing Time and Recovery
The talus connects to the leg and the foot. It is an important part of the ankle that is covered by bones and cartilage. A faulty talus can result to arthritis because of the presence of deformed cartilages in the area. The talus is important for moving the ankle, ankle joint and mid-foot. Any fracture occurring on this area is called talus fracture. Most of the fractures of the talus happen at the talus neck. It is also called an aviator’s fracture because of the history of talus fractures during the war when pilots are crash landing with their planes just to be saved. Nonunion can result when the treatment of the talus fracture was prolonged or if the doctor has settled with the use of incorrect alignment technique.
Talus Fracture Types / Classification:
The types of talus fracture depend on the severity of the case.
• Type 1: The neck of the talus is fractured but is not displaced.
• Type 2: The talus neck is fractured and partially displaced. Total dislocation can also happen on the talus body.
• Type 3: The talus body is displaced from the subtalar joint to the ankle joint. Dislocation may occur.
• Type 4: The displacement of the broken talus body extends from the subtalar joint to the talo-navicular joint.
Talus Bone Fracture Diagnosis:
The doctor will diagnose the fracture after the x-rays of the foot and ankle have been seen. The doctor may also ask the patient to detail the areas of the foot that cannot be moved correctly. The doctor may also require the patient to move his ankle to see any damage on the area. Because cartilage is present in the area, the bone that has been fractured may not be seen clearly with only one angle. Several x-rays may need to be done for an appropriate diagnosis or the fracture can be subjected to MRI or CT scan. Rehabilitation or rehab is very important.
• Flying accidents are the most common cause of talus fracture.
• Traffic accidents where the patients are displaced from their seats can also lead to fracture of the talus.
• Falling from a high place and landing on your toes can cause damage leading to serious talus injury and pain.
Talus Fracture Symptoms
The symptoms of fractured talus are the same as with other fractures. These include:
• Swelling of the talus foot
• Dislocated areas of the foot or ankle
• Ruptured skin on the foot
• Ankle pain
• Weight bearing difficulties
• Ankle joint swelling
Some important relevant terms are lateral talus, anatomy, navicular, calcaneus and osteochondritis dissecans.
Talus Fracture Treatment
If the fractured talus is of Type 1 talus damage, a cast can be used to instigate healing. However, for fractures that have caused the talus to get out of place, surgery is one of the options. Surgery includes planting plates and pins on the area so that the bone will be secured in place. Screws and pins are used to stabilize the bone and align them. Ineffective or improper treatment of the fracture may lead to complications such as arthritis, osteonecrosis, infection, deformity of the foot and insufferable pain. Arthritis occurs when irregularities with the joint are caused by ruptured cartilage. If proper measures are not done correctly, the unusual flow of blood on the ankle may lead to bone death and eventually the deformity of the ankle.
A plaster cast at the knee joint can be used to heal type 1 fracture while realignment by manipulation or surgery is used for type 2 fracture before the cast is placed. An emergency surgery needs to be done for severe cases of type 3 and type 4 and it may require the use of combination of all the treatments just to make sure the treatment will be successful. Talus surgery includes the addition of pins and screws at areas where the bones need to be realigned. Additional treatments before and after surgery include removal of weight from the ankle. This can be done by preventing the ankle from carrying the entire weight of the body. It can take 3 months to completely heal the fracture. If during this time the bones have not aligned correctly, mal-union or nonunion may occur.
Talus Fracture Healing Time & Recovery Time is often longer than 8 weeks.
Prevention of Talus Bone Injury
You can prevent talus bone injuries if you try to be careful about your actions. When jumping from a high ground, make sure that you distribute your weight on your foot evenly and use your arms for leverage and support. The talus can support movement and force, but with the pull of gravity increasing as you near the ground, the talus may not be able to predict the force of impact.
When to Call A Doctor
Because the cases of talus fracture often stem from accidents, the doctor must always be there when the patient is taken to the hospital. If you are at home and you feel sudden pain that persists on your ankles, call for help immediately. If an ambulance is available, lie down and wait. If a wheel chair is provided, sit on it to prevent stressing the talus further and wait for the ambulance.