What is a Pott’s Fracture?

What is a Pott’s Fracture?

A Pott’s fracture is a serious injury of the ankle that often accompanies a traumatic accident. The ankle is one of the most commonly injured joints in the body. People depend on their ankle to provide their foot and lower leg with flexibility and a broad range of motion. In addition, the ankle also supports the lower body. Many people have sprained their ankle in the past and understand the difficulties this presents on a day to day basis. When someone is involved in a traumatic accident, he or she might suffer a severe injury of the ankle called a Pott’s fracture.

If someone suffers a Pott’s fracture, he or she might be looking at a long recovery time. This injury might also involve surgery. Therefore, it is important for everyone to understand some basic information regarding this ankle fracture.

Definition of a Pott’s Fracture

The most common mechanism of a Pott’s fracture is a serious eversion injury of the ankle. Those who have rolled an ankle before know the impact that this can have on their ankle. On the other hand, an extreme eversion injury can also create a Pott’s fracture.

When someone rolls their ankle, this stresses the medial ligaments of the ankle, also called the deltoid ligament. When this ligament is stretched to the point of tearing, this can actually rip off a part of the medial malleolus. This is a piece of bone that rests at the top of the ankle and the bottom of the tibia. When this happens, a large bone called the talus will start to shift, possibly breaking the lateral malleolus as well.

Because both the medial and lateral malleolus is torn, a Pott’s fracture is often referred to as a bimalleolar ankle fracture. Having an ankle fracture occur in two different locations, combined with a torn ligament, makes this injury serious.

Mechanism of a Pott’s Fracture

A Pott’s fracture occurs following an extreme eversion injury of the ankle. This occurs when the sole of the foot faces to the outside, and the ankle itself faces toward the ground. This injury can happen in several different situations. Sometimes, it occurs during a slip and fall accident. It can also take place when someone falls from a great height.

Other common mechanisms occur when someone has their lower leg pinned in an auto accident or motorcycle collision as the rest of their body falls to the ground. This combined force can evert the ankle, damaging the ligaments and causing one or more bone fractures.

Diagnosis of a Pott’s Fracture

A Pott’s fracture is typically diagnosed using imaging procedures. On presentation, the ankle might already be obviously displaced. It is also frequently bruised, swollen, and unable to bear weight. The first step is to take a series of x-rays from multiple directions. These are used to confirm the injury and should be enough to spot fractures in both the medial malleolus and lateral malleolus.

In some situations, the doctor might also want to order an MRI. An MRI is better than an x-ray for looking at blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments. This may be used to confirm a tear in the deltoid ligament of the ankle. It can also be used to plan the surgeon’s approach.

Treatment of a Pott’s Fracture

As alluded to above, this injury is almost always going to require surgery. With a torn ligament and two bone fractures, along with a displaced talus, all of this must be corrected. The surgeon will make sure that the bones are moved back into the proper location. Then, plates and screws will be used to hold the bones in the proper place. The recovery process following this severe injury will typically take several months. An ankle fracture reduction in the operating room can help someone avoid arthritis down the road.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Pott’s fracture is a serious injury of the ankle that might involve a long recovery process. Individuals who have suffered a serious ankle injury due to the negligence of another person or entity should call me at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 to receive free, friendly legal guidance and advice.

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