Talus is a very important and a small bone that is responsible for transferring weight of the body on the foot by articulating with the tibia and fibula. It functions as a connector between the foot and legs at the ankle joint. On above, it forms joint with fibula and tibia and it also communicates with other small cones of foot like calcaneus and navicular. As it bears the weight from the legs, excess load or repetitive strain on the talus can cause the fractures, which may be minute and tiny or wide and severe in some cases. The prolonged damage to talus usually results in slight hair like fractures and wide avulsion fractures are not common.
Symptoms of Talus bone fractures:
The major manifestations that suggest a fracture of talus bone are:
- Ankle pain which may be severe or mild
- Worsening of pain on movement
- Inability to stand normally
- Night aching after some days of fracture
- Pain on touching ankle region
- Redness on skin over ankle
- Swelling and inflammation
Causes of Talus fractures:
Main cause is maximum cases is the over stressing of the talus bone. The suggested causes for causing talus fracture may be:
- Excessive loading of talus
- Prolonged weight bearing activity
- Increased physical activity like running
- Changing the exercise patterns in case of athletes
- Sports strains like during playing football
How to diagnose a talus fracture?
Like any other foot bone fracture, usage of an imaging technique like x-rays, MRI, CT scan, a complete medical history and a physical examination of the foot are the methods to devise and confirm a diagnosis. Usually the medical history and physical examination are sufficient enough to make a diagnosis. X-rays may not reveal the tiny fractures of talus, so more advanced techniques like magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scan are used.
Treatment options for talus bone fractures:
The talus fracture can be treated either conventionally if fracture is minor or surgically if fractures are multiple and more complex.
Using the appropriate managing techniques, the healing process can be completed rapidly. The healing is good in most of the cases, as fractures are tiny and less time is required to heal them. Giving the foot complete rest, applying a cast is good enough. Plaster casting is not needed unless the normal cast and immobility don’t work fine.
The drugs taken in fractures are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and pain killers like aspirin. The heavy doses of pain killers are not suggested and over the counter drugs do the work just fine.
If everything fails and pain continues after weeks of treatments, then surgery is performed to join the bone manually. This is known as the internal fixation of talus and a small cut is required for this procedure. The broken bone ends are brought together and joined with each other by using the wires, screws and small plates to provide extra support.