There are three bones that make up the ankle joint. If one or more of these bones are broken this means that you have an ankle fracture. A fractured ankle ranges from a simple break that affects only one bone to a severe break that affects all three bones and can greatly impact your ability to walk. A podiatrist should evaluate all ankle fractures, no matter how minor or severe they are, to ensure that you get the most effective treatment for a full recovery.
An ankle fracture can occur as a result of impact or trauma, such as a bad fall, car accident or sports injury. In fact, ankle injuries tend to be the most common types of sports-related injuries. A fracture can occur anytime you roll, twist or rotate the ankle out of place.
Unfortunately, a lot of the symptoms associated with more minor conditions such as a sprain also appear with a fractured ankle, which is why it’s always best to seek a foot and ankle doctor for a proper evaluation.
An ankle fracture will often result in,
- Severe and sudden pain
- Swelling and bruising
- Tenderness to the touch
- Pain or trouble putting weight on the ankle
If the ankle joint is dislocated you may notice that the ankle looks “out of place” or there may be a visible deformity present. This is a clear sign that you need to seek immediate medical attention.
Diagnosing an ankle fracture is fairly straightforward and simple. Along with a physical examination, which will include asking questions about your symptoms, imaging tests such as an x-ray will be necessary if our podiatrists believe that you might have a fractured ankle.
These imaging tests allow our medical team to be able to fully see the broken or damaged bone and whether this injury is severe enough to warrant surgery. If the ankle is stable, nonsurgical treatment options are usually all that’s needed to help the broken bone heal; however, if there is ankle instability present then surgery may be necessary. This is something that our foot and ankle surgeons will go over with you at length during your evaluation so you fully understand your treatment plan. With the proper care and rest, a fractured ankle can make a full recovery in as little as a few weeks.