An ankle fracture is a broken bone in the joint attaching your foot to your lower leg. These common podiatric problems require skilled care to heal properly. Without it, you're more susceptible to injuries like tendon or ligament tears or developing chronic ankle instability, which can negatively affect your mobility.
At Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center, our board-certified podiatric surgeons adeptly evaluate ankle fractures and determine the course of treatment necessary to secure a complete recovery.
Ankle Fracture Causes and Complications
These fractures can occur due to a direct impact, such as in a car accident, or moving in a way that stresses the joint beyond the strength of its elements, like when you trip, fall, or roll your ankle. Studies have shown that being an avid athlete, older, or overweight can increase your risk of breaking an ankle.
While a single, mild ankle fracture might not cause you much difficulty, ankle fractures often occur in multiple places at once. Severe fractures can break the affected bone into multiple pieces, which may require surgery to heal correctly. Additionally, the more broken bones in your ankle, the more unstable your ankle gets. An unstable ankle puts you at an increased risk for more ankle fractures and other injuries, making prompt professional care essential.
Ankle Fracture Signs and Symptoms
Sudden, intense pain in the ankle joint can indicate a serious injury. Nevertheless, an official diagnosis is necessary because a broken ankle shares many symptoms with other podiatric injuries, such as ankle sprains. Contact us to schedule an urgent appointment if you’re experiencing the following signs and symptoms:
- Sudden, intense pain
- Inability to stand or bear weight
- Visible ankle deformity
Use the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method to manage pain and swelling until you can come in and have your injury evaluated by our experts. Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center offers same-day appointments for broken bones and other emergent podiatric issues. In the meantime, avoid placing weight on your ankle to prevent additional pain or joint damage.
Ankle Fracture Diagnosis and Treatment
When you arrive at our office, our seasoned specialists will discuss your medical history, ask how the suspected break occurred, and perform a quick physical examination. We may also use diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to help us locate the fracture and determine its severity.
Our caring and capable foot and ankle experts develop personalized treatment plans to guide each patient through the healing process. Recovering fully requires home care, activity modification, and resting the affected ankle for between 4 and 12 weeks (or roughly one to three months). We may recommend using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, for swelling or pain management. However, these medications can impair healing, so using them as instructed is vital.
Severe ankle fractures might need surgery to reconstruct the bone or hold it in place to ensure proper healing. Our exceptional surgeons will align the bone fragments and use pins, plates, or screws to secure them as needed.
After surgery, or as your ankle heals without surgery, physical therapy can help your ankle maintain its strength and mobility, allowing you to get back to the activities you love as quickly and healthily as possible.
Schedule an Appointment
Don’t risk the long wait times and uncertainty of an emergency room visit. Contact Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center right away to request an urgent appointment with a specialist at our Annapolis, Stevensville, or Glen Burnie locations.