Talar Neck Fracture
Dropping objects from great heights, or even just shoving things forcefully against the ground, puts objects at risk of breaking. Everything has a limit to how much of an impact it can absorb without cracking. Your feet are certainly included. If you land too hard on your lower limbs, you risk breaking bones. Some breaks, like the talar neck fracture, are serious and could deform the whole foot.
The Talar Fracture
Fracturing the talus bone can be quite severe. Its joint is made up of several parts that allow your foot to rotate in multiple directions. One key part is your talus, which sits between your lower leg bones and your heel. The talus has a bit of an unusual shape. The very front portion of the bone, which connects to your tarsals, is called the talar neck.
Fracturing any part of the talus bone usually involves an intense trauma. A talar neck fracture occurs when something suddenly flexes your foot, forcing your toes too far back toward your leg. The force drives the protruding talar neck against the other bones, breaking it and frequently dislocating the whole talus in the ankle. Car accidents are the most common events that create the kind of trauma resulting in this fracture, though falling from a height can also produce this type of injury.
Cracks in the Joint
This injury is extremely painful and may even appear to deform the foot or ankle. You’ll experience swelling and possible bruising around the front of the foot and lower leg. If the talus dislocates backward, you may notice symptoms behind your ankle as well. It will be very difficult to bear weight on the affected foot, if you can at all.
All breaks involving the talus are complicated, difficult to treat, and involve serious complications. The whole structure is nearly encapsulated in cartilage and connective ligaments. Breaking the bone tears these tissues. To repair your ankle and regain your ability to move that joint, the talus will have to be realigned and all the tissues involved—bone, cartilage, and ligaments—will need to heal. Failing to treat the problem could result in a permanently deformed foot, and ankle collapse, and severe post-traumatic arthritis.
Repairing the Foot
Addressing the fracture quickly is an important part in treating it successfully. Our podiatrists will evaluate your foot and ankle, using X-rays, and other diagnostic images, to identify the break and its severity. From there, we can determine if you will need surgery or if conservative treatments will be sufficient to manage the condition.
In mild cases where the talus is not displaced, conservative therapies may be all you need to recover. Your foot will be immobilized for several weeks in a non-weight bearing cast. Elevating the foot, icing the joint, and using anti-inflammatory medications will help decrease swelling. Once your bone has healed, you’ll need physical therapy to restore your foot’s range of motion.
Many of the talar fractures are displaced, and require surgery to realign the bone. Failing to do so would painfully and permanently distort your ankle. During surgery, the talus will be very carefully maneuvered into place before the broken pieces are screwed back together so they can heal. Once the procedure is complete, you’ll be in a cast and using crutches until you’ve recovered. Then, you’ll need physical therapy to restore your range of motion.
If you’ve broken your talus, don’t put off seeking help. Injuries such as talar fractures can be quite serious and develop permanent complications if not addressed. You don’t want to chronically limp or struggle with pain. For more information or to book an appointment to take care of your lower limbs, you can call our offices and either speak to one of our staff or leave a message if we are closed. Additionally, an appointment can also be made online using the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.