Partial and completely broken bones are known as fractures. An ankle fracture, like any other fracture, can range in severity from minor, such as when small pieces of the bones are chipped away, to severely shattered bones.
Most ankle fractures are the result of rolling an ankle, and are often mistaken for sprains. They can also be caused by trauma from falls or car accidents and by participation in high-impact sports activities.
Most people who suffer an ankle fracture experience:
- Sudden, sharp pain in the ankle radiating up to the knee
- Swelling and tenderness in the foot
- Bruising around the ankle
- Visible deformity of the bone
- Inability to move the ankle or foot without pain
- Inability to bear weight on the affected leg
Some ankle fractures are so severe that the bone pierces the skin. This requires immediate medical care to prevent infection and reset the bone.
To diagnose an ankle fracture, a provider at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will examine the foot, ankle and leg. X-rays and other imaging techniques are used to further evaluate the fracture.
Treatment of an ankle fracture will depend on its severity. Some fractures may require a splint or cast and crutches to keep weight off the ankle. In some cases, surgery is required to realign the bones and restore function to the ankle.