Orthopaedics

Pott’s Fracture

Pott’s fracture

, also referred to as

Dupuytren fracture

 

orĀ 

Pott’s syndrome I

 

can be a fracture of the medial, posterior or lateral malleolus which are situated around the ankle. The malleoli (plural form of malleolus) are bony prominences situated around the ankle and these bony prominences belong to the two long bones in the lower leg, viz. tibia and fibula.

Pott’s fracture

can happen in either one malleolus or multiple malleoli at once.

Causes of Pott’s Fracture:

It takes a large traumatic force to break the long bones in the lower leg. The following injuries can result in a high traumatic force capable of breaking the tibia and the fibula-

  • a direct blow to the ankle or heel
  • awkwardly landing following a jump (especially while landing on uneven surfaces, this can happen)
  • foot or ankle fractures
  • rolling the ankle

People who are into sports that involve a lot of running (like basketball, football, rugby, netball etc.) are vulnerable to fracturing their malleolus/malleoli.

Signs and Symptoms of Pott’s Fracture:

The first initial sign or symptoms of Pott’s syndrome is a sharp intense pain in the ankle or the lower leg. Some people may even hear a cracking sound when the injury is sustained.

  • While two malleoli are located on the inner and at the back sides of the ankle (medial and posterior), one malleolus is located on the outer side (lateral). Based on the injured malleolus/malleoli, the location of the pain would vary.
  • The pain can reduce with rest but can get worse during nights and in the mornings.
  • Swelling and bruising may also observed around the ankle.
  • Numbness or tingling sensation is also experienced by some in the ankle or the foot.

Treatment:

The treatment of the fracture would depend on the displacement of the malleolus/malleoli.

If there is no displacement of the malleolus/malleoli, treatment would involve immobilization of the injured ankle. This can be done with the help of a cast, boot or a brace. The patient would be asked to use crutches in order to keep the injured ankle from bearing any weight.

If there is a displacement, the fractured malleolus/malleoli would have to be realigned which would require a surgery. A displaced

Pott’s fracture

would require screws and plates in order to stabilize.

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