If you’re an avid athlete or aging or overweight, your risk for ankle fractures is higher than the general population. At Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center in Annapolis, Stevensville, and Glen Burnie, Maryland, board-certified podiatric surgeons Eric Harmelin, DPM, and Rikhil Patel, DPM, evaluate ankle fractures to determine if surgery is necessary. They can make the necessary repairs and help you make a full recovery. If you suspect you have an ankle fracture, don’t hesitate to call Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center or schedule an appointment online today.
An ankle fracture is a broken bone in the joint attaching your foot to your lower leg. A single, mild ankle fracture might not cause you much difficulty, but ankle fractures often occur in multiple places at once. Severe ankle fractures can break the affected bone into multiple separate pieces and might need surgery to heal correctly.
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 or other injuries like tendon or ligament tears, so it’s important you make an appointment right away if you suspect you have an ankle fracture.
You can get an ankle fracture after a direct impact to the ankle or because of the way you moved the joint. Ankle fractures can happen because of trips, falls, or ankle rolling.
You will probably know about an ankle injury right away because of the intense pain. However, since an ankle sprain and an ankle fracture share many symptoms, an official diagnosis is necessary.
Be sure to book an appointment if you experience these common ankle fracture signs and symptoms:
Before you get to Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center for treatment, you can use the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method to care for the injury. You should also avoid placing weight on your ankle (doing so would hurt anyway) so the damage doesn’t worsen.
When you arrive at Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center, your providers perform a quick physical examination after asking about your medical history and how the injury occurred. Stress tests, X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can help them locate the fracture and see how severe it is.
Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center guides you through treatment, which involves lots of home care and activity modification. For at least four weeks and up to 12, you should rest the injured ankle.
You can manage some of the pain with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). However, be sure to use them only as your doctor instructs since they can impair bone healing.
Severe ankle fractures might need surgery to reconstruct the bone or keep it in place for proper healing. Your surgeon can align the bone fragments and may place pins, plates, or screws to secure them in place.
After surgery, or as your ankle heals without surgery, physical therapy can ensure that your ankle maintains its strength and mobility. That way, you can get back to the activities you love when the bone has healed.
Whether your symptoms are moderate or severe, call Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center or book an appointment online right away if you experience signs of an ankle fracture.