March 6, 2017

Do I have a broken ankle?

Foot and Ankle | Trauma

THIS POST IS PART OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FOOT AND ANKLE INJURIES

A fractured or broken ankle means that one or more bones in the ankle joint are broken. The more ankle bones that are broken, the more difficult it is to walk.

Anatomy

Three bones make up the ankle joint: the tibia (shinbone), the fibular (smaller bone of the lower leg) and the talus (a small bone that sits between the heel bone and the tibia and fibula). A fractured ankle involves the area of bone that is the bump on the inside (tibia) and outside (fibula) of the ankle.  

How do you break your ankle?

Broken ankles can affect people of every age and can be caused by twisting or rotating your ankle incorrectly, rolling your ankle, tripping or falling or impact during a car accident.

What are symptoms of a broken ankle?

  • Immediate and severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tender to touch
  • Unable to hold weight on the injured foot
  • Deformity
  • Severe ankle sprains often feel the same as an ankle fracture

How is a broken ankle diagnosed?

Your physician will ask you for a complete medical history and conduct a physical examination. An X-ray, will be necessary, as well as a stress test, CT scan or a MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

Make an appointment with an foot and ankle specialist at OrthoIndy

How is a broken ankle treated?

Nonsurgical treatment

  • Wearing high-top tennis shoes
  • Wearing a short non weight bearing leg cast

Surgical treatment

This is necessary if the fractured ankle is out of place (displaced). During surgery, the bones are repositioned into their normal alignment and held there by stainless steel plates and screws. 
At-home treatment for foot and ankle injuries

How do you recover from a broken ankle?

Because there is such a wide variety of broken ankle types there is also a wide variety of how people will heal after their injury. Weight bearing can usually begin around four to six weeks depending on the fracture type. Usually broken bones heal in six weeks, but it may take longer if a patient has associated medical illnesses such as diabetes etc.  

Most people return to normal daily activities, except for sports, within three to four months. 

Learn more about foot and ankle treatment at OrthoIndy.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000

By OrthoIndy

Founded over 50 years ago, OrthoIndy is one of the most highly respected orthopedic practices in the Midwest. With over 70 physicians providing care to central Indiana residents from more than 10 convenient locations, OrthoIndy provides leading-edge bone, joint, spine and muscle care.

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