- Weber A fractures: In this type, the fracture occurs below the level of the ankle joint, often at the level of the lateral malleolus (the bony prominence on the outer side of the ankle). The fibula is fractured, but the ankle joint remains stable. These fractures typically have a lower risk of complications and can be managed conservatively with immobilization, such as a cast or a walking boot, to allow the bones to heal.
- Weber B fractures: In Weber B fractures, the fracture line extends above the level of the ankle joint but remains below the syndesmosis (the ligaments connecting the tibia and fibula). These fractures can be stable or unstable, depending on the degree of ligamentous injury. Treatment options for Weber B fractures may vary. Stable fractures can often be managed non-operatively with casting or bracing, while unstable fractures may require surgical intervention to stabilize the ankle joint. This may involve the use of plates, screws, or other fixation devices.
- Weber C fractures: Weber C fractures are the most severe and unstable type. The fracture line extends above the ankle joint and disrupts the syndesmosis. The fibula is often broken in multiple places, and the tibia (the larger bone of the lower leg) may also be fractured. Surgical treatment is usually necessary for Weber C fractures to restore joint stability. Internal fixation with plates, screws, or rods is commonly performed to stabilize the ankle and allow for proper healing.
Facing Ankle Fractures? Read below to find out more on what you can do.
Ankle fractures are a common type of orthopedic injury that involve the bones around the ankle joint. The Weber classification is a system used to categorize ankle fractures based on the level of the fibula (the outer bone of the lower leg) fracture relative to the ankle joint. The classification helps guide treatment decisions and predict outcomes. The Weber classification consists of three types: Weber A, Weber B, and Weber C.
The principles of treatment for ankle fractures, regardless of the Weber classification, aim to achieve adequate fracture reduction (aligning the broken bones) and stable fixation to promote bone healing and restore joint function. Depending on the specific fracture pattern, the treatment may involve conservative measures like casting, splinting, or bracing, or surgical intervention with open reduction (manually aligning the bones) and internal fixation. Rehabilitation, including physical therapy, is often necessary to regain strength, mobility, and function after the initial treatment.
It’s important to note that the specific treatment approach for ankle fractures should be determined by an orthopedic surgeon or a healthcare professional specialized in musculoskeletal injuries, who will consider various factors such as the fracture type, associated ligamentous injuries, patient’s age, activity level, and overall health when making treatment decisions.
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Dr Ananda Vella
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS (Singapore), MRCS (Edin), MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Orthopaedics & Trauma)