A broken ankle occurs when one or more of the three bones that make up the ankle is fractured. Aside from a broken bone, you may also suffer from injuries to the connecting tissues or ligaments in the ankle, as well as the two ankle joints. Since ankle sprains and other ankle injuries have causes and symptoms similar to those of a broken ankle, it is important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment of an ankle injury.
Broken ankles are caused by stressing the ankle joint beyond the strength of its elements. Ligaments may also tear at the same time an ankle is fractured. Fractures can occur due to rolling the ankle in or out, twisting the ankle side to side, extreme flexing or extending of the joint, or severe force applied to the joint by coming straight down on it as in jumping from a high level.
What Are Symptoms of a Broken Ankle?
- Bruising of the ankle area
- Acute, severe pain immediately at the onset of the injury
- Tenderness and sensitivity to touch, along with an inability to endure weight on the ankle
- Ankle deformity if the injury involves dislocation
Applying ice to the ankle area and elevating the affected lower leg can lessen swelling. You may also want to wear a leg cast or brace if the ankle is stable and no bones are out of place. Severe fractures may require surgical intervention.
Recovery time for a broken ankle is usually 4-8 weeks and several months to regain full range of motion of the ankle joint. After the bone repairs, physical therapy, braces, and supports are part of continued treatment until the ankle is fully healed. Severe fractures such as those requiring surgery will take more time to heal. Dr. Oware says, “A broken ankle will become worse if not treated properly or in a timely fashion, and should not be ignored.” If you think you have broken your ankle, Cornerstone Foot & Ankle is here to help! Call now to schedule your appointment or request one online!