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Broken Ankle
(Ankle Fracture)

Broken Ankle (Ankle Fracture) Quick Overview

  • A broken ankle is a fracture of one of the bones of the ankle, including the tibia, fibula, and talus.
  • Any crack, break, or chip in the anklebone is considered a fractured ankle, while a sprained ankle is an injury where there is tear or disruption of the ligaments (the fibrous tissue that holds bone to bone in a joint).
  • Broken ankles are caused by stressing the ankle joint beyond the strength of its elements. Ligaments may also tear at the same time an ankle is fractured. Fractures can occur due to rolling the ankle in or out, twisting the ankle side to side, extreme flexing or extending of the joint, or severe force applied to the joint by coming straight down on it as in jumping from a high level.
  • Signs and symptoms of a broken ankle include
    • pain,
    • swelling,
    • bruising,
    • deformities of the bones around the ankle,
    • pale skin around the foot,
    • numbness, or an
    • inability to move the toes.
  • A broken ankle is diagnosed by a history and physical exam, and X-rays may be ordered if needed.
  • Treatment for a broken ankle includes casting, taping, wrapping, booting, or surgery, depending on the type and severity of the fracture.
  • The prognosis for ankle fractures is good to fair. The recovery time for a broken ankle for most patients is 4-8 weeks for the bones to heal, and several months to regain full range of motion of the ankle joint. Severe fractures such as those requiring surgery will take more time to heal.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2015

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Broken Ankle:

Broken Ankle - Symptoms

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Broken Ankle - Type

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Broken Ankle - Treatment

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Broken Ankle - Recovery and Rehablitation

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Ankle Fracture - Causes

What caused your ankle fracture?

What are symptoms of a sprained ankle?

The most common symptom of a sprain is immediate pain at the site of the tear. Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tender to the touch and hurts when it's moved

Symptoms of a more severe sprain include:

  • Hearing and/or feel something tear, along with a pop or snap
  • Extreme pain at first, and the person will not be able to walk or even put weight on the foot.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Ankle Fracture »

For many primary care physicians, ankle injuries are the most common sports-related injury seen in their practice.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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