What are the symptoms of a broken ankle?
Patients who have an ankle fracture often experience the following symptoms:
- Immediate pain upon injury
- Ankle swelling
- Ankle bruising
- Ankle is tender to the touch
- Numbness or circulation problems
- Difficulty/pain when applying weight on the foot
- Deformity or bone piercing through the skin
How are ankle fractures diagnosed?
To determine whether the ankle is sprained, or fractured, Dr. Patel will obtain a thorough patient history, perform a physical examination, and go through a variety of diagnostic tests. The diagnostic tests may include one or more of the following:
- Physical exam
- X-ray: x-rays can show the severity of the break in the bone (s)
- MRI: MRIs create a series of detailed images of the tendons, ligaments, and bone that make up the ankle
- CT scan: CT scans take images from many angles and help give a 3D view of the bony injury
What is the treatment for an ankle fracture or broken ankle?
The diagnostic tests provided by Dr. Patel will determine the severity of the ankle fracture. Based on the results of these tests, there are non-surgical or surgical treatment options available.
- Apply ice to reduce swelling
- In some ankle sprains a walking boot, splint or cast may be prescribed
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and swelling
- Use of crutches: May be used alongside other treatments to prevent unnecessary weight being applied to the injured ankle)
When performing surgery, Dr. Patel may need to use special screws, plates, or rods to realign or reposition the bones to heal in their proper anatomical alignment. Using screws, plates, or rods ensures that any bone fragments heal properly, in their correct position. After surgery, non-surgical treatments may be needed to aid in healing (such as applying ice, using crutches, etc.).