It’s very easy to break a bone in your foot or ankle. Sometimes a fracture can initially appear to be consistent with a severe sprain. While most foot and ankle fractures heal well and eventually allow a return to full activity, early and accurate diagnosis can help speed recovery and reduce complications. If you have concern about a foot or ankle injury that is keeping you from activity, we are happy to try to help you recover from your injury and get back to full health.
Ankle Fractures (broken bone)
With increasing sports participation and an increase in the aging population, ankle fractures are on the rise. Since a similar injury mechanism for an ankle sprain can also cause a fracture, sometimes a “break” can masquerade as an ankle sprain.
Some studies show younger men are at higher risk for ankle fractures than women, but women ages 50-70 are at greater risk for ankle fractures than men. Smoking has also been found to increase the risk of ankle fractures.
While most foot and ankle fractures heal well and eventually allow a return to full activity, early and accurate diagnosis can help speed recovery and reduce complications. Ankle fractures frequently need immobilization sometimes in a cast sometimes in a walking boot. Some fractures can be weight bearing and others need to use crutches to avoid putting weight on the affected limb. At times, ankle fractures can be more serious especially if they involve multiple bones resulting in an unstable fracture or additional damage to nerves or vessels.
A thorough history and exam performed by a physician trained in evaluating ankle injuries, such as a sports injury specialist is necessary for appropriate care when you have experienced an ankle injury with pain, swelling, and difficulty trying to bear weight on it.