The lateral malleolus is the bone on the exterior of the ankle joint. A fracture on the lateral malleolus is the prevalent form of ankle fracture.
An injury typically occurs once the ankle is twisted or rolled, usually during an awkward or uneven step. Luckily, a lateral malleolus fracture is considered as a stable injury and can be treated without surgery.
What are the signs?
A lateral malleolus fracture can trigger pain, swelling and bruising around the ankle. The discomfort in other parts of the foot and ankle are enough to suspect a significant ankle damage than an isolated case of lateral malleolus fracture.
The pain and inflammation on the interior side of the ankle might be an indication of another injury that might require surgery. An individual with a lateral malleolus fracture must be assessed for any indications of a serious and wobbly ankle fracture. It is important to note that an unstable ankle fracture occurs if the ankle joint could not function properly.
Management of a lateral malleolus fracture
The treatment for a stable case of lateral malleolus fracture usually includes measures to lessen the swelling that is followed by gradual weight-bearing.
- Application of ice – this can help lessen the pain and minimize the swelling at the site of injury
- Elevation – this is vital to keep the swelling down. The ankle must be positioned above the level of the heart.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) are useful in controlling the pain and swelling
- Adequate rest and immobilization – even though a stable ankle fracture can support the body weight, it can help lessen the weight-bearing to control the swelling and pain. In most cases, a period of 1-2 weeks with crutches can lessen these symptoms.
Some doctors utilize walking boots, casts, ankle braces or hiking boots. Depending on what provides support and comfort, it should work.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a lateral malleolus fracture is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications of the injury and how it is managed by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.