Pilon Fracture

Pain in the Shin or Ankle

What could be my problem?

A Pilon Fracture is a type of break that occurs at the bottom of the tibia (shinbone) and involves the weight bearing surface of the ankle joint. With this type of injury, the other bone in the lower leg, the fibula, is frequently broken as well.

What causes a Pilon Fracture?

  • Most often a result of high-energy trauma; such as a car or motorcycle accident, fall from height or skiing accident

When to see a foot specialist about Pilon fractures:

If you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Inability to bear weight on injured leg
  • Deformity – your ankle may look angled or crooked

If I have a Pilon fracture, what are my treatment options?


  • May be recommended if the fracture is stable, pieces of the bone are not displaced or are minimally displaced
  • May be recommended for patients who do not do a lot of walking or for patients who are at a higher risk for surgical complications
  • Splints and casts
  • Repeated x-rays during the healing process; to ensure the ankle remains stable
  • Non-weight bearing on the affected ankle for up to 12 weeks


Recommended for cases of unstable fracture (bones are out of place).

  • Open Reduction and Internal Fixation: The displaced bone fragments are first repositioned (reduced) into their normal alignment and then held together with screws and metal plates attached to the outer surface of the bone.