When a bone breaks or cracks, this is referred to as a fracture. In the ankle, there are three bones in which can be fractured. These include:
- Tibia: the larger of the two bones located in the lower leg. It can be felt as the inside of the ankle.
- Fibula: this is the thinner of the two bones located in the lower leg. You can feel this on the outside of your ankle.
- Talus: This is the bone that is located on the inside of the ankle between the heel bone, and at the ends of the fibula and tibia.
Symptoms of an Ankle Fracture
When someone fractures their ankle, they most often feel:
- Pain, tenderness and swelling in the ankle joint
- They may not have a normal range of motion in their ankle
- They cannot put their full weight on the ankle
- They may have heard a snap or crack when the injury occurred
- There could be bone seen through broken skin in the event that this is a serious fracture
Diagnosing the Ankle Fracture
The doctor is going to want to know:
- How the injury happened
- When the injury happened
- Whether the bruising and pain developed soon after the injury or several hours later
- If you have difficulty with walking and putting weight on the ankle
Preventing Ankle Fractures
For those who are wanting to prevent an ankle fracture, they are going to find that there are ways to help, such as wearing an ankle brace or taping the ankle if you have already had a fracture. Other people find that wearing high-topped shoes can help to prevent ankle fractures from happening.
Treating the Ankle Fracture
For those who do have an ankle fracture, they are going to want to get with their doctor. The doctor will probably put the ankle and foot into a cast for around six to eight weeks. There could be physical therapy involved after the cast is removed. More extensive damage may mean having to have surgery to help attach the bones together. If there are bones that have penetrated the skin, then antibiotics may be given to prevent an infection.
When to Go to the Doctor
You should go to the emergency room or the doctor when:
- You cannot walk on the ankle
- The injury is painful and tender
- The ankle is swollen, deformed or is bruised badly
If the symptoms you have get worse or do not get better within three to four days, then it is also time to go to the doctor.