A guide to Talus Fractures

The talus is a small bone located in the ankle which is responsible for moving the ankle joint and transferring weight from the shin to the foot. A talus fracture will occur when an excessive amount of weight is placed on the talus.   

Usually a talus fracture will occur after an excessive amount of weight is placed on the talus, this can be after a jump or rolling of the ankle causing the bone to break.

The amount of weight and pressure required to break the talus is excessive and therefore it is often believed that this injury can occur as a result of other injuries to the ankle.

A talus fracture is most commonly seen in sports such as football, rugby and basketball due to the amount of jumping and quick direction involved.

This injury can also appear as a result of overuse which is common in sports which involve a vast amount of running and sprinting.

Talus Fracture Symptoms

Individuals who sustain a talus fracture are likely to feel a sudden surge of pain in the ankle, resulting in the individual being unable to bear any weight on the ankle.

The initial intense pain will often subside, leaving pain in the front section of the ankle and potentially the back and side of the ankle. It is also common for the area to feel weak and stiff.

Swelling and bruising is also common in the ankle and sometimes the patient may have fracture blisters.

Talus Fracture Diagnosis

In order to diagnose a talus fracture a doctor will need to fully examine the area and potentially X-ray the area to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any further complications.

Talus Fracture Treatment

In order to treat this injury, rest is crucial so to not damage the tendon any further and to stay away from any activity that could aggravate the knee or causes any pain or discomfort to the area.

Continuing any strenuous activity or resuming sport will not only hinder the healing process, it could lead to further damage.

A strengthening program may also be advised by a physiotherapist to keep the area strong and ensure flexibility once the injury had healed.

This should not be done without professional advice as a patient can run the risk of aggravating the area and slow the healing process.

In the final stages of recovery and in the first few months of returning to training, stretching exercises may be performed to keep the area stable and strong and can also help prevent the injury reoccurring.

For severe cases or when a displaced fracture occurs, surgery may be required in order to re-align and stabilise the talus as well as removing any fragments of bone.

If surgery is undergone, a patient can then expect to be provided with a plaster cast or brace and required to use crutches for a period of time, however these measures may also be adopted without surgery in order to immobilise the injury.

SUMMARY

Causes

  • Impact or excessive pressure or weight placed on the talus bone
  • Often due to underlying injuries or combination of injuries i.e. ankle/foot sprain
  • Common in sports requiring running and jumping
  • Overuse injury

Symptoms

  • Surge of pain in the ankle at the point of injury
  • Inability to bear weight on the ankle
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Fracture blisters

Treatment

  • Minor Surgery
  • Rest
  • Braces and supports
  • Physiotherapy

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