Fractures of the Pilon
A tibial plafond fracture (also called tibial pilon fracture) occurs at the bottom of the shin bone (tibia), and involves the ankle joint. This fracture occurs when the talus, the key central bone in the ankle, is forced up into the tibia causing the bone to break through or near the joint (articular) surfaces.
For a tibial plafond fracture to occur, a great deal of force is usually required, and for this reason there are often secondary injuries to the fibula, pelvis and spine and occasionally the internal organs. This injury is seen in motor vehicle accidents, skiing accidents and after falling from a height on your feet.
When a fracture occurs into or around a joint surface, that joint is at high risk of developing osteoarthritis due to the injury. Unfortunately, even if the bone and cartilage surfaces are lined up perfectly, there is still a risk of developing arthritis due to injury to the cartilage cells.
This fracture is an emergency and requires urgent treatment that includes
- alignment of the bones and a cast applied
- elevation of the leg
- use of ice and anti-inflammatory medication
These measures help in reduction of pain and swelling.