Below the tibia and fibula are seven bones known as the tarsals. These make up the ankle and upper portion of the foot. The seven tarsal bones are the calcaneus, the talus, the cuboid, the navicular, and the medial, middle, and lateral cuneiforms.
Foot and ankle injuries can be suffered by drivers who are applying the brake forcefully during a collision. As with any joint injury, an ankle injury can lead to future degenerative changes and arthritis. The erosion of the cartilage and bone can lead to permanent joint pain, stiffness, swelling and disability.
When an auto accident victim suffers a broken ankle, the broken bones are typically those in the victim’s ankle joint: tibia (shinbone); fibula (runs parallel to the shinbone); talus (beneath the tibia and fibula). A broken ankle and/or broken foot may require surgery to implant fixation devices, such as wires, plates, nails, rods or screws into the broken bone. This can help maintain proper alignment during healing. However, less invasive forms of treatment may be pursued depending on the circumstances. Some breaks can be treated through a process called “reduction,” where a doctor manipulates the broken pieces of bone back into their proper position. In other cases, a break may be immobilized with a cast and brace until the broken bone properly heals.