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Distal Fibula ORIF: A Closer Look

Open Reduction Internal Fixation of Distal Fibula



The ankle joint is made of the lower end of the tibia (shin) and lower end of the fibula (outer leg). The ends of the bones are called malleoli. The tibia consists of two malleoli (medial and posterior) and the fibula, just one malleoli (lateral).


An ankle fracture is when one or more of the malleoli are broken. This can occur after a fall, accident, or twisting of the ankle. Symptoms may include; pain, swelling, bruising, and restricted ankle motion. Surgery may be recommended to allow the joint to heal normally.


Depending on the type of fracture and severity; metal plates, screws, or a combination of the two are used to realign and hold the fractured pieces in place, allowing them to heal in proper alignment. Immediately following surgery, the ankle will be immobilized in a well-padded splint. Once the splint is removed a cast or boot will be prescribed (depending on the surgeon’s protocol). For most ankle ORIF’s patients are non-weight bearing for a period of time. After the fracture is healed physical therapy may be prescribed to help regain strength and range of motion. The hardware usually remains in place as long as it does not cause discomfort.



Further information regarding this procedure


For specific instructions from your surgeon, please visit the post operative page.