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If you break your ankle, you will need to see an orthopedic surgeon in order to get it evaluated and fixed as soon as possible. Since there are so many bones coming together at that joint, if it's not repaired correctly, your ankle can end up permanently weakened or less functional than prior to the injury.
Putting a cast on your ankle is one way that the surgeon may stabilize your ankle so that it will heal correctly. The surgeon will put your ankle in the right position for it to heal so that you will still have full functionality of your ankle. The doctor will use x-rays of your ankle to determine the proper positioning. Once they are happy with the position for your ankle, they will put on a cast. Depending on the severity of the break, you may have to keep your entire weight off your ankle for a few weeks. You may also have to have another cast after the first one comes off. You may be able to walk on that one.
Surgery may be only the best option to stabilize your ankle. When you have surgery, there are a couple of ways that your doctor can make sure that the bones are stabilized so that they will knit together properly. One of those ways is to install screws or pins in your ankle. Those pins and screws are used to pull the fractured bone together so that the new bone matrix can form where it should.
When your surgeon puts the pins in, they may be temporary. If they are temporary, you will have to have another surgery after a few months or a year in order to remove the screw. The doctor won't want to do the surgery to remove the screws or pins after all the bones have healed. If you do have the surgery to have screws and pins removed from your ankle, you will have a few weeks of healing time. Your doctor may tell you that you have to keep your weight off that ankle until it heals. However, you may be able to wear an orthopedic boot which is an alternative to a cast that still supports your healing ankle, but lets you put some weight on your ankle.
If you do break your ankle, you need to make sure that you need to see an orthopedic surgeon so that your ankle will heal properly.