An ankle fracture can be hard to distinguish from a strain or sprain, so trust the doctors at Complete Foot and Ankle to help you get the right treatment. Dr. Jacob Reinkraut, Dr. Michelle Suh; and Danny Gomez, DPM, FACFAS, diagnose and treat ankle fractures in Ridgewood and Newark, New Jersey. Call the office if you suspect a fracture, or use the online booking agent to schedule an appointment.
Fractured Ankle Q & A
What causes a fractured ankle?
When the connective tissue of your ankle gives way or tears, you have a sprain; if the bone breaks, it’s an ankle fracture. Actions that can cause a fracture include:
- Rolling of the ankle
- Twisting of the ankle
- Overextension or flexion of the joint
- Severe force, such as when you jump or fall from a high level
What are the signs of a fractured ankle?
If you have severe pain, swelling, bruising, or deformity of the ankle bone, you may have a break. If over-the-counter pain medications don’t help and you can’t walk or bear weight on the ankle, your ankle may be fractured, and you should seek immediate treatment.
What is the difference between a fracture and a sprain?
An ankle sprain occurs when you damage the ligaments in the joint. A fracture occurs when you’ve broken one of the three bones that comprise your ankle joint. The symptoms of each injury are similar, so it can be hard to distinguish between the two.
With a fracture, you may hear a crack, and numbness and pain in the ankle joint often accompany it, too. If your ankle bones are misshapen, this also indicates a fracture.
How is a fractured ankle treated?
The exact treatment plan for your ankle depends on the nature and severity of your fracture. The doctors at Complete Foot and Ankle usually put you in a splint or cast to immobilize the joint. In many cases, they’ll realign the bones first.
If you have bones that break through the skin or that can’t be realigned in the office, the doctor may refer you for surgery.
How long does it take an ankle fracture to heal?
Most ankle fractures heal within 4-8 weeks depending on the location of the break. You may have to wait several months before the joint is entirely back to normal. Do not put significant weight on the joint until your doctor clears it, even if you feel better.
In some cases, you may progress to a walking cast that allows you to place some weight on the joint as you heal.
If you’ve experienced an ankle break or sprain, call Complete Foot and Ankle or book an appointment online today.