A fractured ankle can range from a simple crack in the bone to multiple breaks that force the ankle out of place. Ankle fractures must be treated carefully so the patient regains full mobility.
Three bones make up the ankle joint: The tibia (shinbone), fibula (small bone next to the tibia) and talus (sits between the heel bone, tibia and fibula). If you are unsure if you have an ankle fracture, common signs include swelling, bruising, and immediate pain.
Ankle fractures are usually caused by a sudden twisting, rotating, or rolling motion or by a sudden, heavy impact. Overuse is also a common cause of stress fractures in the foot and ankle.
Doctors will perform x-rays, stress tests and possibly CT or MRI scans to diagnose ankle and foot fractures. Treatment includes both nonsurgical and surgical methods depending on the injury. Nonsurgical treatment can be used when the fractured bone is still in place, but surgery is needed when the fracture is out of place or the area is unstable. However, this may vary from case to case.
The foot and ankle are built by 26 bones and 33 joints. There are numerous types of fractures with an even larger amount of recovery methods based on the injury. Patients usually recover within three to four months of an ankle or foot fracture and it’s not uncommon for nagging side effects. Studies show that some patients may still be hindered from the fracture for a couple of years after the injury and may even experience chronic outcomes, but these chronic ailments are relatively uncommon.