Orthopaedic Conditons & Treatments

Fracture of the Talus, Symptoms and Causes

A talus fracture or broken talus is a fracture of the talus, a large bone between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula). The tibia and fibula sit on top and around the sides of the talus to form the ankle joint. The talus meets the bones of the foot and forms the subtalar joint. The talus serves an important function as a connector between your foot, leg and body. It helps to transfer weight and the forces of pressure across the ankle joint. It moves not only at the ankle joint, but below the ankle and in the mid-foot, too. Any injury to the talus such as a talus fracture can affect the motions of the ankle and foot joints.

Virtually unheard of a century ago, talus fractures are more common today. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of talus fractures, followed by falls. The popularity of snowboarding has also contributed to the rise in broken talus accidents. Other causes of talus fractures include:

  • Overuse
  • Sports and activities involving running and jumping
  • Underlying injuries or combination of injuries such as an ankle or foot sprain

Talus Fracture Symptoms

You may experience these common symptoms of a talus fracture:

  • Surge of acute pain at the time of injury
  • Inability to bear weight on your foot
  • Considerable swelling, bruising and tenderness around the ankle joint

Talus Fracture Treatment

Treatment of a talus fracture depends on the extent of the injury. If the fracture is not out of position, a simple cast may be sufficient for treatment. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), most broken talus injuries require surgery to minimize later complications. The primary surgical procedure for a broken talus is fixation of fracture. After surgery, you won't be able to put weight on your foot for approximately three months.

The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's trauma services in New York treats talus fractures as well as a broad range of foot and ankle conditions that can occur at any stage of life.

Rehabilitation Services

The Rehabilitation Network of the North Shore-LIJ Health System is dedicated to providing you and your family with result-oriented, comprehensive rehabilitation services. Our goal is to help you and your loved ones find relief from pain and get moving again after an accident, illness, injury or surgery. We’re your partner in a safe, healthy, more rapid recovery.

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