Trimalleolar Fracture, Ankle, Adult, Displaced (ORIF)

Care After

ExitCare ImagePlease read the instructions outlined below. Refer to these instructions for the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after surgery. Your surgeon may also give you specific instructions. While your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, unavoidable complications occasionally occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, call your surgeon.


  • You may resume normal diet and activities as directed or allowed.

  • Keep ice packs (a bag of ice wrapped in a towel) on the surgical area for 15-20 minutes, 03-04 times per day, for the first two days following surgery. Use the ice only if okay with your surgeon or caregiver.

  • Change bandages (dressings) if necessary or as directed.

  • If you have a plaster or fiberglass cast:

  • Do not scratch the skin under the cast using sharp or pointed objects.

  • Check the skin around the cast every day. You may put lotion on any red or sore areas.

  • Keep your cast dry and clean.

  • Do not put pressure on any part of your cast or splint until it is fully hardened.

  • Your cast or splint can be protected during bathing with a plastic bag. Do not lower the cast or splint into water.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Use crutches as directed. Do not exercise your leg unless instructed.

  • Keep appointments as directed.

These are not fractures to be taken lightly! If these bones become displaced and get out of position, it may eventually lead to arthritis and disability for the rest of your life. Problems often follow even the best of care. Follow the directions of your surgeon.


  • You develop redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound.

  • You develop yellowish white fluid (pus) coming from wound.

  • An unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) develops.

  • You develop a bad smell coming from the wound or dressings.

  • Your wound breaks open (edges not staying together) after sutures or staples have been removed.

If you do not have a window in your cast for observing the wound, a discharge or minor bleeding may show up as a stain on the outside of your cast. Report these findings to your surgeon.