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Bimalleolar and Trimalleolar Fractures

bimalleolar fractures

A bimalleolar ankle fracture or a trimalleolar ankle fracture may occur when two or more ankle bones have fractured. Such injuries require extensive medical care and surgical intervention to restore stability and alignment of the ankle joint. While most patients may make a full recovery, issues with the strength of the ankle joint and long-term mobility may arise. When the injury results from a catastrophic accident, it is essential to protect your rights by retaining legal counsel immediately.

If you have suffered a bimalleolar or trimalleolar fracture in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more, contact our personal injury lawyers in Sacramento for free, friendly advice on your case at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

Since 1982, our law firm has fought on behalf of injured parties to obtain the financial compensation they need and deserve. Whether the injuries were due to a motor vehicle collision or another type of accident, we can help. Our legal team wants to make sure that you understand your rights under California law, and we will do everything in our power to ensure you are fairly compensated for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Let us put our experience, skills, and resources to work for you by contacting us today to arrange a free case evaluation.

What are the Common Causes of a Fractured Ankle?

The top reasons for bimalleolar and trimalleolar ankle fractures include:

  • Motor vehicle crashes: The impact from a traffic collision may cause a crushing injury resulting in a break in the bone that requires surgical intervention.
  • Slip and fall accidents: Landing on the feet after jumping down may fracture the bones of the ankle, as can falling and tripping.
  • Missteps: A twisting injury from putting the foot down improperly may result in a bone fracture.
What are the Signs of a Bimalleolar Fracture?

Some of the symptoms of a bimalleolar ankle fracture include:

  • Difficulty walking or putting weight on the injured foot
  • Severe pain in the affected ankle
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Tenderness to the touch
What are the Symptoms of a Trimalleolar Fracture?

Following is a list of the signs of a trimalleolar ankle fracture:

  • Bruising or swelling
  • Difficulty putting weight on the affected ankle
  • Discomfort when an injured area of the ankle is touched
  • Immediate and severe pain
How is an Ankle Fracture Classified?

Physicians classify broken ankles by the area of bone that has fractured. For instance, if both the fibula and tibia have broken, it is considered a bimalleolar fracture. Conversely, a trimalleolar fracture involves a break in the three parts of the ankle. These include the lateral malleolus, the posterior malleolus, and the medial malleolus. This is considered an unstable fracture and is found to often accompany a ligamentous injury.

What are the Treatment Options for a Bimalleolar Fracture?

In most bimalleolar fracture cases, the medial malleolus and the lateral malleolus have fractured. This may result in instability of the ankle from trauma to the ligaments on the medial side of the ankle. To determine whether the medial ligaments have sustained an injury, a physician may order a stress test x-ray.

Surgery is generally recommended in these cases as the broken bone is usually considered unstable. Open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) is a technique often recommended for unstable fractures. The process generally involves fibula fixation through the utilization of screws and plates for the lateral malleolus. For medial malleolus fixation, a hanging screw is used for a tension band wire construct in various types of medial malleolus fracture cases. This serves to maintain the proper alignment of the affected bones.

Following surgical intervention, the ankle may be placed in a short leg cast, and it may take at least six weeks for the fractured malleoli to recover. Repeat X-rays of the ankle are necessary for a physician to check for any signs of displacement.

How is a Trimalleolar Fracture Treated?

When all three malleoli of the ankle have fractured, it is called a trimalleolar fracture. They are often related to dislocation and are considered unstable injuries. For this reason, physicians usually recommend surgical intervention. Conversely, if a patient presents with significant health problems where they do not usually walk or the risk of surgery may not lead to favorable results, nonsurgical treatment may be considered.

A splint is usually recommended in immediate treatment to immobilize the ankle until the swelling has gone down. After this has been accomplished, applying a short leg cast may follow and must be changed frequently as swelling in the ankle subsides. Patients must follow up with their doctor for routine x-rays to ensure that the ankle has remained stable. In most trimalleolar fracture cases, the patient may not be allowed weight-bearing for six weeks. After that time has passed, a removable brace may be utilized to protect the ankle as it is healing.

If the ankle is unstable or the break in the bone is out of place, surgical treatment may be offered. Various options may be available for treating such bone fractures. One surgical option is to have screws and a plate inserted along the back of the tibia (shinbone). Another potential option for surgical intervention is for a physician to place screws from the back of the ankle to the front, or vice versa.

Is Physical Therapy Necessary for a Broken Ankle?

Rehabilitation after a bimalleolar ankle fracture or trimalleolar ankle fracture may start soon after the injury has been treated, either through non-surgical or surgical measures. The process may include various types of immobilizations that permit early commencement of exercise or weight-bearing.

Can You Seek Financial Compensation for an Accident-Related Injury?

When a traumatic injury has occurred in an accident such as an ankle fracture, the injured party may file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party for losses incurred. Compensation through these types of cases may come in two types: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to the financial losses that accompanied the incident and injury in question. Conversely, non-economic damages consider the intangible losses a crash has caused.

Keep in mind that no two personal injury cases are alike. Therefore, it is essential to discuss your case with an accident attorney who has years of experience handling personal injury claims, including those involving bimalleolar ankle fractures and trimalleolar ankle fractures. Unlike the insurance company, an injury lawyer will protect your rights and guide you through the claims process.

Types of Experts in a Personal Injury Case

In most personal injury cases for ankle fractures, the outcome may be based on expert witness testimony. The role of an expert witness is to review the facts and circumstances of the case and prepare a report, including their professional opinions on the matter. These include:

  • Accident Reconstruction Expert: This type of expert may be retained to provide testimony on the sequence of events leading up to a motor vehicle crash. An accident reconstruction expert may discuss the crashworthiness of the vehicle, acceleration, braking, and collision analysis.
  • Medical Expert: A traffic collision may result in a traumatic injury such as a broken ankle. A physician may testify regarding the severity of a patient’s injuries and the reasonable and necessary need for future medical treatment. In the case of a bimalleolar or trimalleolar fracture, an orthopedist or orthopedic surgeon may repair abnormalities of the bones with braces, casts, and surgical intervention. A qualified physician may testify the unique issues the patient may face and the types of future medical care anticipated.
  • Vocational Expert: A traumatic injury from an accident may have devastating vocational effects. The injured party may lose their job due to the incident or experience a diminished earning capacity. In either of these scenarios, an experienced bimalleolar ankle fracture attorney may retain a vocational expert to project anticipated lifetime losses. Conversely, a vocational expert may also provide recommendations on alternate jobs that may best suit the injured party in the future.

For more details on the personal injury claims process and the types of factors that may be encountered, watch this video.

How Our Law Firm Can Help You

Retaining legal counsel with extensive experience handling personal injury claims may make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Some of the reasons why you should hire a trimalleolar ankle fracture lawyer to represent you include:

  • Handle all aspects of your case and keep you well informed throughout the process
  • Conduct an independent investigation into the sequence of events leading up to the motor vehicle accident to properly determine fault
  • Gather and preserve evidence that proves the other party or entity was liable for the incident and subsequent damages
  • Negotiate with the insurance company and work to obtain a favorable case outcome on your behalf
  • Consult with expert witnesses in California as a strategy in litigation
  • File a lawsuit in civil court if all attempts at a fair insurance settlement fail

To get started on your case today, reach out to our law firm to arrange a free consultation. Our legal team is available anytime to meet with you and your family to discuss your best course of action moving forward.

Contact a Bimalleolar or Trimalleolar Ankle Fracture Attorney Today

If you have suffered a bimalleolar or trimalleolar fracture in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, our legal team can help. When you speak with a member of our law firm, you will receive free, friendly advice.  Contact us today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 to speak with one of our injury attorneys.

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