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ORIF of an Ankle Fracture

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What do I need to know about open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of an ankle fracture?

ORIF of an ankle fracture is surgery to fix a broken ankle. You may need surgery to repair a talar fracture. The talus is a square, flat bone on top of the heel bone. It connects your heel bone with the tibia and fibula (lower leg bones) to form the ankle. Open reduction means the bones will be put back into the correct position. Internal fixation means hardware (such as wires, screws, pins, or plates) is used to hold the bones in place while they heal.

Heel, toes, ankle

How do I prepare for ORIF?

What will happen during ORIF?

What should I expect after ORIF?

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room.

What are the risks of ORIF for an ankle fracture?

Nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, or muscles may be damaged during surgery. Your leg, ankle, or foot may become stiff, numb, and weak. You may still have ankle pain. Your broken ankle may not heal properly. You may not be able to walk or move your foot and leg the way you did before your injury. You may have trouble going back to your usual activities. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.