Car accidents cause thousands of broken bones and bone fractures each year, and one of the most common is a broken ankle. When an ankle is fractured, it can be painful and debilitating and can put a person out of action for a while, depending on the severity.
If you have sustained an ankle fracture in a vehicle accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact Attorney Edith Pearce at The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
The Ankle Bones
The three primary bones that make up the ankle are the Tibia, Fibula and the Talus. Where they all come together is considered the ankle, and an ankle fracture occurs when any one of these are broken, chipped or fractured.
Broken or Sprained?
A primary symptom of a broken ankle is the same as a sprain, which is severe pain to the point that the person can’t put their weight on that foot. Other symptoms are:
- Swelling: the soft tissue around the ankle will fill up with blood or fluid causing the swelling.
- Bruising: Though not apparent right away, the person might see “black and blue” bruising around the foot toward the sole of the foot.
- Possible numbness: If there is loss of blood flow due to the injury, numbing might occur.
- Can’t use: The Inability to move or put significant weight on the foot is also a sign of a broken ankle.
The only problem is, that these are also signs of a severe sprain as well, and sometimes the only way to be sure is to get an x-ray.
So when should you just try to tough it out with home treatment and when should you go to the doctor?
- If the pain remains severe even after using over the counter pain medicine.
- Any at home care fails to reduce your pain.
- If there is a gross deformity of the ankle bones.
- If there are any bones visible outside your skin.
- Can’t move your toes.
- Can’t move ankle at all.
- If ankle numb or tingly.
- If foot is cold or blue.
Note: Not all of these need to be present to warrant a trip to the emergency room.
Treatment for ankle fractures:
Once a broken ankle diagnosis has been made, the first thing the doctor will order is to stay off that foot. Weight and movement can cause further damage and increased swelling. The doctor’s first efforts will be to reduce swelling before any other treatment can begin.
If the break isn’t severe enough and doesn’t need to be reset, then a cast will be put on to keep the patient from moving the foot. Some breaks allow a walking cast, others will require the patient to use crutches.
If the bones can’t be reset or aligned properly, the doctor may recommend surgery. Also, any time the bones are protruding the skin, surgery will be needed. No surgery can be done until the swelling goes down.
Once the person is sent home from treatment or surgery, then the doctor will give instructions for at-home care which will consist of anti-swelling and inflammation measures and pain medication. This can be over the counter or prescription strength if necessary, to ease the pain.
A broken ankle can take 4 to 8 weeks for the bones to heal completely, and another several months to regain full movement. Anytime surgery was necessary, the healing time is lengthened.
Compensation for a Broken Ankle
If the ankle was broken by the negligence of another driver, then Pennsylvania law allows the injured person to seek damages. Just about any direct financial loss can be claimed, but some are not so obvious. Also, there are losses that don’t have a direct price that can also be claimed. Some of the most common related to a broken ankle are:
- Medical Bills
- Ambulance Bills
- Rehabilitation Bills
- Lost Time from Work
- Future Loss time from Work
- Pain and Suffering
- Any Disability
- Future Risk of Arthritis
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Loss of Quality of Life
- Mental Anguish/PTSD
Philadelphia Bone Fracture Lawyer:
If you are injured by someone else’s negligence in a car accident and suffered a broken ankle, speak to a Philadelphia accident lawyer as soon as you are able to. This doesn’t mean you have to hire the attorney, but you owe it to yourself to learn about your rights under the law. Philadelphia personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. At The Pearce Law Firm, P.C., we will only offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.