Study Released – Risk of Ankle Fractures Double with Obesity

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) is an organization of doctors who work to elevate the skills and knowledge of their profession.  Requirements to become a member take years of study beyond medical school and not all podiatrists become members. Your Austin podiatrist, Dr. Thomajan, has attained highest recognition as fellow of the ACFAS.  A recent article in the ACFAS’ Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery found a positive association between the level of severity with ankle fractures and obesity.


ankle fxToo often weight gain is associated with aging.  Days loaded with physical activity when we are young give way to weekend warrior activities in mid life.  The onslaught of unhealthy food choices doesn’t make maintaining a healthy weight any easier.   While keeping the wight off has many challenges, the consequences of not are many.  The risk for diabetes, heart problems, and severe ankle fractures all multiply if your body mass index (BMI) falls into the obese category (greater than 30).


In this study they used a widely accepted ankle fracture classification guide and ankle fractures where compared for 280 patients.  The patients where then divided at above or below a BMI of 30.  They found that the obese group had more than twice the incidence of the most severe category of fractures.  These severe ankle fractures in turn have a higher incidence of not healing, infection, and other complications.


These findings aren’t entirely surprising.  Simple physics tells us that greater weight translates into greater forces.  The greater forces associated with increase BMI put greater stresses on our feet and ankle. When things go awry, these greater forces translate into greater injuries.  As specialists of the foot and ankle, the doctors at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists are best able to treat your ankle fracture at any level.


Use this link to calculate your BMI and decide if you need to take steps to maintain a healthier weight. None of us expect to sustain and ankle fracture, but once again a ‘pound of prevent, is worth an ounce of cure’.


Until next time, keep those ankles happy and healthy, Austin!


Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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