Ankle fractures may require surgery based on the stability of the ankle joint.
Lateral malleolus fractures are the most common type of ankle fracture. Isolated fractures of the lateral malleolus can usually be treated without surgery. But injuries involving the medial or syndesmotic complex of ligaments, or fractures involving both the medial and lateral malleolus bones, typically require surgery to reestablish the bony architecture of the joint and stabilize the ankle. During the procedure, surgeons reposition the bone fragments and insert plates and screws to hold them in place.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
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