Diagnosis and Treatment

Ideally the ankle and foot should have an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. However if it is thought that there is a risk of neurovascular impairment, or if the skin is stretched and there is concern that tightness of the skin may risk skin necrosis, it is common practice to try to significantly reduce displaced ankle and foot injuries before x-ray.

If a displaced fracture is reduced before x-ray, the fracture is still visible and so a diagnosis is still possible. However, if a dislocation is reduced beforehand, the subsequent x-ray may be normal and it may be difficult to establish the true diagnosis.

These injuries should be reduced under sedation, or general anaesthesia, and immobilised in a below knee POP. They should be followed up by an orthopaedic surgeon.