This patient sustained a fracture of the tibia. Fractures of the tibia just above the ankle joint are called tibial plafond fractures. These fractures are concerning for two reasons:
- First, there is little muscle and soft-tissue covering the bone in this region. Therefore, swelling can be a significant problem, and may prevent surgery from being performed until the swelling subsides.
- Second, the fracture line often extends into the cartilage of the ankle joint. Because of this, the ankle is prone to developing arthritis due to uneven bone surfaces.