What is a broken/fractured ankle?
A fracture is a partial or complete break in a bone. A fracture can range from a simple break, which may not stop you from walking, to severe fractures, which may force you not to put weight on the ankle for a prescribed time period. Ankle fractures are common injuries and or caused by the ankle rolling inward or outward. Many people mistake an ankle fracture for an ankle sprain, but they are quite different. Any crack, break, or chip in the ankle bone (s) is considered a fractured ankle, while a sprained ankle is an injury where there is tear or disruption of the ligaments which ultimately can result in reoccurrence of sprains or dislocations if left untreated. In any case, it’s important to see a podiatrist for an accurate and early diagnosis.
Broken ankles are typically caused by a rotational injury, where the ankle becomes twisted, turned or rolled. When you strain an ankle joint beyond the strength of its elements, you injure the joint. If it only involves the ligaments being torn, your podiatrist will evaluate, diagnose and treat accordingly. If the bone gives way, one may experience a fracture; however, this injury requires your podiatrist to evaluate for proper diagnosis. There are several common ways to fracture or sprain your ankle:
- Twisting the ankle side to side
- Flexing or extending the joint
- Rolling the ankle in or out
- Applying acute force or impact on the joint
If you have a broken ankle, your symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
- Inability to move your ankle through its normal range of motion
- Immediate and throbbing pain after injury
- Inability to bear weight on injured ankle
- Increased warmth to the area
Your local podiatrist will evaluate and diagnose your injury prior to treatment.
Treatment for an ankle fractures will differ, dependent on which bone is broken and the gravity of the injury. If you have a displaced fracture your podiatrist may need to place the bones back to their proper locations. This is called reduction. A broken bone may need to be immobilized to heal properly. In most cases the patient will need a cast or a special boot to prevent movement. More severe fractures may require surgery. It important a podiatrist evaluate and diagnose the injury.
When to see a Podiatrist:
If there is an apparent deformity of the injured ankle you should seek medical assistance immediately. You should also consult a podiatrist if you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms associated with your injury. Some of the most common tests utilized to diagnose ankle fractures are:
- Bone Scans
- CT Scans
- Manual examination
A podiatrist should perform the evaluation and testing needed to evaluate the severity of your injury.
Seeking Treatment for Ankle Fractures
If you are experiencing any form of heel or leg pain, particularly if the symptoms resemble those of a Broken Ankle, are perpetual and/or seem to be intensifying, you should see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Our professional podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Ankle Injuries and their underlying causes. We will assess your situation and discuss your treatment options with you to promptly set you on the path to recovery.