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Crush Fractures: Ankles Pinned under Dash in Car Accident

An individual may suffer a crush fracture if their ankles are pinned under the dash in an automobile accident.


Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries depending on the severity of the accident and the force of the impact. No part of the body is safe when an accident occurs. In a high impact accident, it is possible for the person to suffer crush fractures when the ankles get pinned under the dash in a car accident. There are various types of ankle fractures that can occur, which we will discuss in this post.

Three bones make up your ankle; the fibula (a smaller bone constituent in the lower leg), tibia (the shinbone), and the talus (a small bone between the tibia and fibula). An ankle fracture occurs when one or more of these bones break. This common injury can vary in severity and can be a simple break to multiple fractures that may leave you bed-ridden for months, or even require surgery.

Symptoms of Ankle Fractures

Even though ankle fracture symptoms may vary depending on the type of bone fracture experienced, some of the common symptoms are:

  • Severe and immediate pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Visible deformity
  • Tenderness
  • Activity-driven pain (increases with activity)
  • Difficulty in walking or putting on a shoe

Most of these symptoms mimic those of a sprain and thus it is crucial to consult a doctor if the symptoms persist.

Treatment for Ankle Fractures

Treatment is dependent on the type of ankle fracture suffered. The severely displaced fractures may require surgical repairs whilst minor ones can heal on their own. Most of the ankle fractures will need therapy so as to loosen the joint and to improve the flexibility and strength after an injury. A cast or a brace may be used in case the patient experiences difficulty in walking or putting on a shoe, as the ankle heals. With proper therapy, a person may resume his or her daily activities in 3 to 4 months. However, complete recovery may take up to 2 years.

Types of Ankle Fractures

Ankle fractures can be classified based on the type of bones that are broken. These include

  • Medial malleolus fracture: – It is caused by a break in the tibia. The fracture often accompanies a fibula fracture, injury to the ankle joint ligaments, or a fracture to the back of the tibia. If this type of fracture involves impaction, when the force breaking the bone is so intense that it drives the end of the bone into another one, bone grafting may be required.
  • Lateral malleolus fracture: Occurs when the fibula bone is broken.
  • Trimalleolar fractures: Occurs when all of the three bones break and requires surgical repair.
  • Bimalleolar fractures: – Occurs when there are two or three of the bone fractures and requires surgery.
  • Talar fractures: – Associated with lower back injuries and occurs when the heel bone and the talus are fractured. May require surgery.
  • Pilon fractures: – Occurs when the ankle bones are crushed due to high impact. Pilon fractures may also cause chronic ankle stiffness and ankle arthritis.
  • Posterior malleolus fracture: – Occurs when there is a break in the back of the tibia and the fibula.

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Updated: April 12, 2021