CHICAGO — The average American takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to 115,000 miles in a lifetime – this is more than four times the circumference of the globe! It’s no wonder that ankle fractures, usually caused by twisting an ankle, are one of the most common injuries. Now, new technology is allowing patients to get up and get moving faster than ever before.
From sticking a landing with a broken ankle to a game-stopping ankle fracture, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to feel the pain.
“The most common injury is a twisting injury," Orthopedic surgeon David Garras, MD, said.
And those twisting injuries can end up in an ankle fracture.
“Traditionally, what we typically do is make an incision over the broken bone," Dr. Garras explained. "We put a plate over the top of it with screws going in and the plate sits on the outside of the bone, which is directly really under the skin."
At some point, the plates and screws will have to be removed. Now, Dr. Garras is using new technology, called the FibuLock Fibular Nail, to fix the fracture.
“What the newer technology has allowed us to do now is develop implants that are specific for these types of ankle fractures that have both fixation above the fracture and below the fracture," Dr. Garras further explained.
The technology uses several tiny incisions to place the rod inside – not outside – the fibula. Patients can walk on the ankle immediately and return to normal activity within two weeks. There's also less atrophy, less weakness, less risk of hardware problems and less risk of infection.
Dr. Garras believes the FibuLock Nail procedure will save medical costs in the long run as the nails rarely have to be removed, so patients can avoid a second surgery and the increased risk of infections.
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