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External Fixation Of An Ankle Fracture
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
External fixation of an ankle fracture is surgery to repair your broken ankle.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
Before your surgery:
- Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
Your healthcare provider will align the broken bones together by carefully pushing, pulling, and turning the leg, ankle, or foot. He will try to do this without making a cut on your skin. He may have to make small cuts on your skin for bones that are hard to reach. He may use a fluoroscope (x-ray) to help him insert pins and correctly align the bones. Holes will be made in your bone above and below the fracture using a drill. Screws and long metal pins will be inserted through the holes to keep the bones aligned properly. The pins will stick out through your skin, and other rods and devices will be attached to them. An x-ray may be done to see if the bones were set in the right way. Bandages will be wrapped around the areas where pins were inserted.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. Bandages keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandages soon after your surgery to check your wound.
- You will be able to eat and drink gradually after surgery. You will begin with ice chips or clear liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then eat soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once you can eat soft foods easily, you may slowly begin to eat solid foods.
- Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
- Antibiotics help prevent a bacterial infection.
- Antinausea medicine helps calm your stomach and prevents vomiting.
You may bleed more than expected and get an infection. Other parts of your ankle and foot, such as nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and bones, may be damaged. Your leg, ankle, or foot may become stiff, numb, and weak. Even after surgery, you may still have ankle pain or problems moving your leg or foot. You may have trouble going back to your usual activities, such as sports.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.