What is a fractured ankle?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Miss Kaylee Hoppe Jr.
Score: 4.2/5 (44 votes)

A broken or fractured ankle is an injury to the bone. You may experience a broken ankle from a twisting injury from a simple misstep or fall, or from direct trauma during a car crash, for example. The seriousness of a broken ankle varies.

Can you walk on a fractured ankle?

Many people assume that if you can put weight on the ankle then it isn't broken, however, it is possible to walk on a broken ankle, particularly with a less severe fracture. If you're concerned your ankle may be broken, we recommend contacting your doctor, who can conduct an examination or order and xray if necessary.

How long does it take a fractured ankle to heal?

It takes at least 6 weeks for the broken bones to heal. It may take longer for the involved ligaments and tendons to heal. As mentioned above, your doctor will most likely monitor the bone healing with repeated x-rays. This is typically done more often during the first 6 weeks if surgery is not chosen.

How is a fractured ankle treated?

Foot and Ankle Fracture Treatment Options
  1. Rest: Rest is key. ...
  2. Ice: Ice the area for 20 minutes at a time to help with swelling and inflammation. ...
  3. Compression: Wrapping the injury helps control swelling.
  4. Elevation: Keep your foot and ankle raised slightly above the level of your heart to help reduce inflammation.

Do you need a cast for a fractured ankle?

Usually, ankle breaks are caused by falls, high-impact sports, car accidents, or injuries that place excessive force on the ankle. Treatment depends on the severity of the break. If you have a minor ankle break, you might get a walking boot, cast, or splint. If it's serious, you might need surgery to realign the bone.

Ankle Fracture Surgery

39 related questions found

Can you walk on a hairline fracture?

Although one can walk on a foot with a stress fracture, these tiny hairline breaks should not be ignored as they can return unless properly treated.

Can you wiggle your toes with a broken ankle?

Most believe that if they can wiggle their toes or move the ankle around that an ankle fracture has not occurred. The reason this is not true is because the nerves and muscles that allow the movement of the ankle have not been affected by the fracture.

How much force does it take to break an ankle?

As a rough estimate, it would take 218 pounds of pressure to produce a tibial fracture in a healthy adult using a hammer. You could decrease the force requirement by choosing a tool with less surface area, such as a hatchet—then again, you'd be increasing the risk of soft tissue damage and significant blood loss.

How can I tell if I have a hairline fracture in my foot?

The most common symptom of a hairline fracture is pain. This pain can gradually get worse over time, especially if you don't stop weight-bearing activity. Pain is usually worse during activity and lessens during rest.
...
Other symptoms include:
  1. swelling.
  2. tenderness.
  3. bruising.

What does a fractured ankle feel like?

If your ankle hurts or is tender to the touch directly over your ankle bone, you probably have a fracture. If the pain is in the soft part of your ankle, it's more likely a sprain.

What does a fractured foot feel like?

Signs and symptoms of a broken foot may include pain, limping, swelling, bruising, and refusal to bear weight on the affected foot. Initial treatment may include RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Rest may include the use of crutches to limit weight bearing.

What is the most common ankle fracture?

Lateral malleolus fractures

This is the most common ankle fracture, and it involves your fibula alone. This type of fracture is on the outside of your ankle, which is the area that's under the most stress, whether you're just walking or running and pivoting.

When can I start walking on a fractured ankle?

How long after a broken ankle can I walk? Most people get the green light to slowly start putting weight on their leg around six weeks after breaking their ankle. The amount of time may be less or more depending on the severity of your injury, and it can take a few more weeks more before you're walking normally again.

How do I know if my foot injury is serious?

Go to the emergency room if:
  1. there's an open wound on your foot.
  2. pus is coming out of your foot.
  3. you can't walk or put weight on your foot.
  4. you experience severe bleeding.
  5. there are broken bones coming through your skin.
  6. you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  7. you think your foot could be infected.

What's the difference between a sprain and a twisted ankle?

A sprained ankle is similar to a twisted ankle but to a greater degree. When you sprain your ankle, it means you have stretched, and possibly even torn, the ligaments of your ankle. If your ankle is swollen, bruised and painful after you twist it, then you have most likely sprained it.

Is it a hairline fracture or a sprain?

A sprain is classified as a stretched or torn ligament or tendon, while a fracture is a broken bone. If you're experiencing pain around the soft tissue but not over your bone, it's likely that you have a sprain and not a break.

What happens if a hairline fracture is untreated?

Ignoring a hairline fracture can lead to a more serious fracture or break occurring, which is more difficult to treat. If not treated or ignored, the hairline may not heal, resulting in a non-union fracture.

What happens if a fracture is left untreated?

When a bone fracture is untreated, it can result in either a nonunion or a delayed union. In the former case, the bone doesn't heal at all, which means that it will remain broken. As a result, swelling, tenderness, and pain will continue to worsen over time.

Can a hairline fracture heal without a cast?

Technically speaking, the answer to the question “can broken bones heal without a cast?” is yes. Assuming conditions are just right, a broken bone can heal without a cast. However, (and very importantly) it doesn't work in all cases. Likewise, a broken bone left to heal without a cast may heal improperly.

What's the worst bone to break?

Here's a look at some of the bones that hurt the most to break:
  • 1) Femur. The femur is the longest and strongest bone in the body. ...
  • 2) Tailbone. You could probably imagine that this injury is highly painful. ...
  • 3) Ribs. Breaking your ribs can be terribly distressing and quite painful. ...
  • 4) Clavicle.

How much force does it take to break steel?

The breaking strength for structural steel is 400 megapascals (MPa) and for carbon steel is 841MPa. Breaking strength is different for different densities of steel.

What's the hardest bone to break?

The femur is a very large, strong bone that is difficult to break. A broken femur is usually caused by a severe accident; vehicle accidents are one of the primary causes. Older adults can fracture their femur from a fall because their bones tend to be weaker.

Can you break your ankle without knowing?

Can I really break my ankle and not know it? It may sound strange, but the answer is a resounding, Yes! While it seems like a broken bone is something you should be able to detect, the truth is that other ankle injuries share similar symptoms.

Does a hairline fracture need a cast?

Treatment for a hairline fracture looks different than that of a more severe fracture. You likely won't need a cast, but the doctor may recommend that you wear a brace to keep your arm immobile. You should also rest your arm and use ice to control the pain.

Is hairline fracture serious?

Hairline fractures are easily dealt with, but medical attention should be sought immediately to prevent the injury from worsening. Ignoring a hairline fracture can lead to a more serious fracture or break occurring, which is more difficult to treat.