How are tibial pilon fractures treated?
In the event the tibia is still in place or is still properly aligned and the bone is parallel to the fibula, surgery may not be necessary. Our physicians may apply a splint or cast to the lower leg to hold the fracture in place. A walking boot may be fitted, or a cast, after the swelling subsides. Healing can take approximately twelve weeks.
If the tibia is not in its proper place, surgery may be recommended. Our physicians will evaluate the swelling and make a recommendation about surgery once the swelling has decreased. During surgery, our physicians will reposition (reduce) the displaced bone and bone fragments to their original form; internal fixation (rods, plates and screws) will be utilized to hold the fractures in place until they heal. This is called open reduction internal fixation, or ORIF. If an external fixation device was used, this is typically removed during the surgery. The correction may be done in one or two surgeries depending on the severity of the break. Typically, we prescribe a blood thinner to prevent blood clots in the leg during recovery.