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Talus

The ankle joint is very complex, and the talus is its most important bone. Your leg and your foot are connected by the talus. You know how your feet can move in so many directions? This is because the talus and the joint that formed around it (the ankle joint) allow for it. The talus is directly responsible for the upward and downward movement in the ankle joint. As it joins the heel bone (the calcaneus) to form the subtalar joint, the talus is also responsible for inward and outward movement of the foot. In this way, most of foot and ankle – related motions depend on the talus, and injury to the talus will affect these in a lesser or greater extent. Injuries to the talus can be minor, in example, chips and small fragments may break off from the edge of the talus, but there are also major talus – related fractures that can be debilitating, as these effect the multiple planes of movement of the foot and ankle.

Treating fractures

All talus fracture treatments aim at maximization of the movement of the ankle and subtalar joints. Also, the goal is to restore the normal size and shape of the bone and to prevent occurrence of arthritis in both ankle and the subtalar joint. This can be complicated in serious fractures due to their magnitude. Common complications with serious injuries include development of arthritis or loss of blood supply to the bone, which is serious, as the bone needs constant and uninterrupted blood supply in order to function properly, or in this case, to heal and regenerate after a fracture. Lack of blood supply commonly leads to arthritis or collapse of a part of the bone.

Treatment options

These are numerous, and include immobilization, as in by placing the foot in a cast or a boot, or surgery. Surgery, if performed, uses incisions to approach the bone which is then reduced and put back together by means of pins and screws.

Recovery

The talus heals slowly, it takes tow to three months before the patient is allowed to walk and put weight on the talus. Once the bone heals, function of the ankle is boosted through exercise and physical therapy. If there is loss of blood flow to the talus and avascular necrosis (dying out of the bone due to lack of blood supply) occurs, it is common to attempt surgery aimed at improvement of blood circulation to the bone.

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