ORIF Surgery for Ankles

What is an ORIF Procedure?

“ORIF” stands for Open Reduction and Internal Fixation: a type of surgery used to stabilize broken bones so they can heal. Foot and Ankle Specialists often use ORIF procedures to assist in healing broken ankles.

The ankle joint consists of three bones: The tibia (shinbone), the fibula (the smaller bone in your leg), and the talus (ankle bone).

In certain types of ankle fractures, the bone can break but still line up correctly. In other fractures, the injury can push the bones out of place.

Open Reduction refers to the orthopedic surgeons repositioning the bones back to their proper alignment during an open surgery

Internal fixation refers to the method used to reconnect the bones. This usually involves medical screws, plates, rods, or wires that the surgeon will place inside or around the bones to secure them in place. This ensures the bones will heal correctly. 

What happens during an Ankle ORIF?

The details will vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. The operation may take a few hours. Generally, patients can expect:

  • Patients will receive general anesthesia, so they will sleep through the operation without sensation. 
  • The Anesthesiologist will carefully monitor your heart rate, and other vital signs during the operation.
  • The nurses will clean the ankle, and the Foot and Ankle Surgeon will make an incision through the ankle tissues.
  • The surgeon will properly align the pieces of the ankle bone into place (reduction).
  • Next, your surgeon will secure the broken bones to each other using tools like screws, metal plates, wires, or pins(fixation).
  • After the surgeon and team secure the bone, they will suture together the layers of skin and muscle around the leg.