Phoenix Broken Ankle Injury Attorneys
Get Help If You've Broken Your Ankle - Call (602) 267-1280
If you've ever experienced the pain of a twisted ankle, you know how easily this relatively minor injury can immobilize you for up to nine weeks or longer, depending on the severity of the twist. Unless you have broken an ankle yourself, you will never be able to understand the significant amount of pain, suffering, and inconvenience that comes with such an injury.
Broken ankles can take months, if not years, to completely and fully heal, and the problems associated with this type of injury can range from minor to severe, and even to critical. The costs associated with recovery from a broken ankle can make it impossible to pay the rent or your mortgage, and to afford the basic necessities while you are unable to work and unable to earn a living. Although broken ankles are one of the less common injuries among adults, this does not negate the fact that for those who suffer these injuries, life is immediately and irrevocably changed. For those who sustain broken ankles, the frustration and pain is even greater when another person, whose negligent actions led to an accident, causes the injury. For legal assistance and a free consultation, please contact a Phoenix broken bone lawyer at Breyer Law Offices, P.C.
Knowing the many ways in which a broken ankle injury may occur, and how you can help yourself to recover more quickly and with fewer complications can help you to work to avoid injuries and to keep yourself safe from ongoing physical trauma in the event you suffer a serious injury.
How a Broken Ankle Injury Can Impact Your Life
A broken ankle injury is not a simple break that will just leave you on crutches for several weeks. In many cases, victims of broken bone injuries must take several days to several weeks off from work, depending on their occupation. Multiple doctor visits, surgeries, and prescriptions can cause a broken ankle injury to take a severe toll on your finances, and your ability to pay your bills. In addition, it is difficult for those who have broken an ankle to enjoy the activities they once loved - hiking, biking, running - for many months after their injury.
Causes of Broken Ankle Injuries
Nearly 250,000 people sustain broken ankle injuries every year, and for adults, the consequences of these types of injuries are far-reaching. More pressing for adults, is understanding the types of situations that can lead to a broken ankle injury since not all situations are readily apparent. According to medical reports, the majority of broken ankle injuries happen during sports play or while walking on surfaces that are uneven and unsafe without the right kinds of shoes. Today's shoes, especially those made for women, like high heels, do not provide the type of stability needed for most people to overcome a slip, trip, or fall before injuries can occur. While the type of footwear you wear can have an impact on your safety and may even contribute to your risk of sustaining a broken ankle injury, there are many additional causes of these serious injuries, including:
- Slipping on ice, water, or slippery surfaces
- Tripping or falling on stairs, uneven surfaces, broken flooring, torn carpeting, or tripping hazards left out on the floor, especially in hotels and grocery stores
- Falling down an escalator
- A traffic accident in which your feet or legs are crushed or otherwise injured
- Been hit, kicked, or tripped during sports play (especially critical for individuals who play football)
Symptoms of a Broken Ankle Injury
The problem with a broken ankle injury is that, in many cases, it can feel exactly like a serious sprained ankle injury. Some medical reports indicate that fractures can easily be mistaken for sprains because the symptoms are so similar. The most important thing you can do after sustaining any ankle injury is to have it evaluated by a medical doctor as quickly as possible since only a doctor can make the determination as to whether you have suffered a sprain or a broken ankle injury. If you have sustained an ankle injury, some of the most common symptoms you will experience as the result of a broken ankle include:
- Swelling around your entire ankle joint, and often times also further around your foot. Additional edema may occur in the days that follow, and will occur throughout your entire foot.
- Bruising at the site of the injury that may occur within hours of your injury or may not appear for several days.
- Severe pain that often occurs suddenly, usually within seconds of sustaining the injury. This pain may last for several days and will come and go; for a broken ankle injury, the severity of the pain and its duration may be much greater than it is for any other type of ankle injury.
- Being unable to put weight on the injured ankle or to walk evenly and without a limp.
- An ankle joint that looks out of place or abnormal. Many times broken ankle joints are described as looking deformed.
- Tenderness. An broken ankle injury will be extremely tender to the touch and may require many days, weeks, months, and even years of healing in order to feel fully safe and uninjured again.
- Instability in your ankle, which may or may not be accompanied by weakness, and the feeling that you would not be able to put weight on your foot, even without the pain.
- Crackling or snapping feelings around your ankle bone.
- Pain pinpointed to the outer edge of the outside ankle bone.
Whenever you feel pain or experience swelling after an ankle bone injury it is critical to visit with a doctor as soon as possible. Fractures that are not properly treated within an immediate timeframe may become infected, inflamed, or improperly set, requiring a secondary break to begin the true healing process. This can lead to additional healing time, including the need for surgery.
What You Should Do if You Think You've Broken Your Ankle
If you are experiencing pain in your ankle after sustaining an injury and you think you may have broken your ankle, or caused it some other serious injury, you should immediately go to a doctor. This may mean making a visit to the emergency room. Depending on the time of your injury or the situation in which you are injured, you may not be able to get to the doctor right away and will suffer through a great deal of pain while you are waiting to get to a doctor. There are some things that you can do to ease your suffering while you are waiting to see a physician.
The most important thing you must remember is that you should not eat any food or drink anything, not even water, until after you have been to the doctor. In some cases, breaks must be dealt with through surgery, and you will be unable to undergo surgery with food and drink in your body. Elevating your ankle above your heart by laying down and propping it up can help to reduce the swelling. Icing your ankle can also help to reduce the amount of pain you are feeling and reduce additional swelling. It is wise to be careful in the use of pain medications while you are waiting for a doctor as this may also delay treatment from your doctor.
Complications from a Broken Ankle
In the majority of cases, a broken ankle injury will heal after a few weeks with a cast on, or even in a special medical boot, and the injury victim will make a complete recovery without any further complications, except for minor aches and pains over the following weeks. However, for many broken ankle injury victims, complications arise and the healing period goes from a few weeks to months, or even years.
- Improper healing results when a broken ankle is not properly set and this will result in the need for the surgery; surgery for the repair of broken ankles typically includes having a temporary pin or screw placed in the ankle that must be removed from the ankle and leg during a second surgery. If the screw or pin breaks during the healing process, additional surgeries will be required.
- Limited range of motion caused by the tearing of muscles and tendons.
- Tendinosis, which is a condition that develops over time after an injury has occurred, and is most common for those individuals who do not follow all proper precautions during the healing period, and causes ankle pain on the outside of the ankle that is severe and sporadic; instability of the ankle accompanied by weakness that lasts for years or for the rest of the victim's life; and an increase in the height of the arch of the foot, which can cause significant problems with gait, and injuries to the spine, lower back, hips, and legs.
- Infection, which can happen in cases where the bone protrudes through the skin, and is also common in broken ankle injury cases where the placement of a pin or screw becomes necessary. Infection can lead to the need for amputation or multiple additional surgeries, and lengthy hospitalizations, and may cause death.
Treatment for a Fractured Ankle
Treatment for a broken ankle injury starts with a visit to the emergency room or to another qualified physician that can x-ray and set your injury. But treatment for these types of breaks does not stop with the doctor or with the cast. In the majority of cases, the broken ankle must be elevated for a large portion of the day, which may make it difficult, if not impossible, to work during the recovery period. In addition, once the cast or boot has been removed, your ankle must still be elevated for several hours a day. Ice packs are also a required part of treatment for a broken ankle injury as they assist in the reduction of swelling and pain.
Your doctor will also prescribe medications that will ease your suffering through the reduction of pain, inflammation, and swelling, especially in cases where you have not only broken the ankle bone but also torn tendons, pulled ligaments, and pulled muscles.
Preventing Broken Ankle Injuries
Preventing broken ankle injuries is not always as easy as following safety tips. After all, there are instances in which you cannot control the accident or the outcome of the accident that leads to your injuries. But there are some things that you can do to make yourself less susceptible to some types of situations that may lead to a broken ankle injury.
- Always watch where you are walking, even at stores, so you are acutely aware of ice, standing water, slippery surfaces, damaged flooring, and trip hazards.
- Wear safety gear when playing sports, and always follow the rules.
- Hold onto the rail when going up or down the stairs or escalator.
- Wear proper, supportive footwear as much as possible.
Getting Legal Help from a Phoenix Broken Ankle Injury Lawyer
Accidents happen, and when they're not your fault, a serious broken ankle injury can leave you not only hurt and unable to work, but also frustrated because another person's actions rendered you helpless. The Phoenix injury attorneys at The Husband and Wife Law Team understand what you are going through after a broken ankle injury - debt, inability to work, pain, and frustration - and will help you work through your accident and your recovery. They will do whatever it takes to help you hold the negligent party responsible for causing your injuries. Whether you need representation or help understanding your rights, call attorneys Alexis and Mark Breyer at (602) 267-1280.