What is a Posterior Talar Process Fracture?
A posterior talar process fracture is a severe injury that involves the lower leg, ankle, and foot. The talus is one of the largest bones in the foot. It forms the lower part of the ankle joint. This bone joins together with the tibia and fibula at the top as well as the calcaneus and navicular bones at the bottom. Therefore, the talus plays an important role in stabilizing the other bones of the ankle, providing flexibility to the foot and lower leg. An injury to the talus can severely compromise someone’s ankle flexibility.
If someone has been diagnosed with a posterior talar process fracture, this can have long-term implications on his or her mobility, strength, and flexibility in the ankle moving forward. Therefore, it is important to diagnose these injuries as quickly as possible, so the treatment process can begin.
The Diagnosis of a Posterior Talar Process Fracture
The talus is easily visualized on x-ray imaging. Therefore, this imaging tool is typically used to make a diagnosis. The talus has a couple of bony prominences, called tubercles, where the fracture usually takes place. There is one tubercle on the inside and an additional one on the outside. There are ligaments that attach to these tubercles that might also be torn in a posterior talar process fracture, further complicating the injuries.
If there is any suspicion that these ligaments have been torn, or that other associated injuries might be present, an MRI might also be ordered. This imaging is used to evaluate the damage to nearby ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Even if the bone fracture is stable, these other injuries might mandate surgical intervention.
How Does This Fracture Happen?
If a posterior talar process fracture has been identified within the lateral tubercle, this injury is typically caused by extreme inversion. Think about what happens when someone rolls their ankle. This can occur if someone falls from a bike or during a slip and fall accident. This extreme inversion can cause a fracture in the lateral tubercle.
In contrast, a posterior talar process fracture involving the medial tubercle is not as common. This injury often happens when someone dorsiflexes their foot to an extreme extent. Dorsiflexion is used to describe drawing the toes back toward the shin, essentially bending the foot backward. If this is done to an extreme degree, it can cause a fracture in the medial tubercle.
The Treatment of this Fracture
Typically, these injuries are treated using a short leg cast and/or ankle brace. The doctor will oversee the union of the fracture. If there are any signs that non-union or malunion are taking place, then surgery will be required to either remove the misplaced bone fragment or realign the injury properly.
If the fracture is nondisplaced, most individuals who have been diagnosed with a posterior talar process fracture will make a full recovery in a matter of weeks. If surgery is needed, the recovery process will take a little longer. Most individuals will make a full recovery.
Stockton Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton Personal Injury Lawyer. A posterior talar process fracture is a significant foot injury that can lead to a long road to recovery. Individuals who have suffered a major foot injury due to the negligence of another person or entity should contact me at (800) 404-5400 and/or (209) 227-1931 to receive free, friendly legal guidance and advice.
I’m proud to be a lawyer in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum as well as in the Top One Percent. This is an honored National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Attorneys who have become a part of this listing have either received verdicts or have negotiated for settlements calculated to be in excess of $1 million.
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