Understanding Pilon Fractures: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Understanding Pilon Fractures: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Understanding Pilon Fractures: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments


When it comes to bone fractures, the severity of your injury can vary depending on the location and type of fracture. One type that is particularly serious is the pilon fracture. This rare fracture occurs in the ankle and can be quite painful, leading to decreased mobility and poor quality of life. But what is a pilon fracture, and what causes it? In this blog, we’ll explore everything you need to know about pilon fractures, from their causes and symptoms to the most effective treatments.


What is a pilon fracture?

A pilon fracture is a type of ankle fracture that occurs at the bottom of the tibia, the bone that supports the ankle joint. Because the tibia is a weight-bearing bone, this type of fracture can be quite serious and require prompt medical attention. Pilon fractures are typically the result of high-energy trauma, such as a car accident or a fall from a height. However, they can also occur as a result of more low-impact injuries in people with weak bones, such as those with osteoporosis.

Symptoms of pilon fractures

The most obvious symptom of a pilon fracture is acute pain, accompanied by swelling and bruising around the ankle. At first, you may not be able to bear weight on the affected foot, and even after the pain subsides, you may notice that your ankle lacks its usual range of motion. If you suspect that you may have a pilon fracture, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent further complications and long-term disability.

Diagnosis and treatment of pilon fractures

Pilon fractures are typically diagnosed through imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans. Your doctor will use these images to determine the extent of the fracture and the best course of treatment. In most cases, pilon fractures require surgical intervention to repair the damage to the bone and restore proper alignment. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to undergo multiple surgeries or wear a cast or brace for several weeks to allow the bone to heal.

Prevention of pilon fractures

To reduce your risk of sustaining a pilon fracture, it is important to take steps to prevent falls and other high-impact injuries. This may include wearing appropriate footwear, using assistive devices such as canes or walkers if necessary, and practicing good balance and stability exercises. If you have weak bones or are at risk for osteoporosis, it is also important to work with your doctor to improve bone health and prevent fractures.



In conclusion, pilon fractures are a serious and painful ankle injury that can cause long-term disability and decreased quality of life if not treated promptly and effectively. By understanding the causes and symptoms of pilon fractures, you can take measures to prevent this injury or seek prompt medical attention if you suspect that you may have sustained a fracture. If you need an orthopedic surgeon in Deltona, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute today for more information on our comprehensive fracture care services.