Many fractures in the ankle and foot are best treated with early rehabilitation. Crutches and casts may be useful in the early days after injury, but all too often recovery is then hampered by “hopping for too long”. Most ankle and metatarsal fractures, ligament sprains and the majority of tendon injuries recover faster and get back to sport sooner through walking on the injured leg and starting physiotherapy. Even when support is needed for the injury a modern “Airboot” or splint is lighter, more comfortable and more convenient than a cast.
Most fractures heal with rest and time. However, occasionally, bones fail to rejoin, causing pain during activity. Often this is not clear on X-rays, and the problem is only revealed by a CT or MRI scan.
For symptomatic patients an operation to remove the scar tissue, which is preventing the bone from healing, and to fix the fracture is recommended. A cast or boot is usually required until the bone has joined.