What is an ankle fracture?

A common sports injury, ankle fractures can also affect anyone who is mobile—working, playing, or just getting from point A to point B.  The ankle is a complex structure that consists of the tibia, fibula, and talus bones and many ligaments. The protruding parts that you see on the inside, outside, and back of the ankle are known as the medial (inside) malleolus, lateral (outside) malleolus, and posterior (back) malleolus. This joint allows the foot to move sideways and up and down—both critical motions in our day-to-day functioning. When an ankle fracture occurs, you can be sure that your daily routine will change as you allow this important structure to heal.

Am I at Risk for an Ankle Fracture?

Anyone can experience a broken ankle, but there are some dynamics that increase a person’s risk. A fracture of the ankle is often associated with sports that require running and jumping, such as soccer, tennis, and football. If you participate in high-impact sports and you wear worn out shoes, the risk for this injury is even higher.

Some jobs require the lifting of heavy materials. If these items fall onto the foot and ankle, a crushing injury can result in fractured bones.

A medical diagnoses such as osteoporosis indicates weak bones that are more susceptible to breaks. Even something as simple as a cluttered floor can cause an accident and lead to this type of ankle injury.

Twisting Can Lead to Shouting

Twisting the ankle to the inside or outside can be extremely painful. In some cases, a sprain has occurred. However, it is possible that one of the ankle bones has actually broken during the episode. Since sprains can present with similar symptoms, it is best to see the experts at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists to determine the extent of your injury.

In-office imaging will be used to view the bones that make-up the ankle. It is possible for more than one bone to be affected, and the break is classified according the fractured bone(s). Impact injuries can result in the bones breaking into tiny pieces, but other injuries result in a piece of bone breaking off.

Here’s the Breakdown

Twist, hit, trip, or roll—here’s the breakdown on symptoms that you can expect with an ankle fracture:

  • Extreme pain that is felt right after the injury occurs. The pain may spread up the leg from the point of the break.
  • Discoloration due to bruises
  • Enlargement in the affected area, but it may spread as well.
  • Inability to bear weight. However, it is important to note that some people are able to walk with a fracture, so this should not be a determining factor for accessing care.
  • A deformed appearance. Compare to the unaffected ankle to see if there is a variation. If the bone has gone through the skin, seek emergency treatment immediately.
  • Tenderness and blistering. Blisters need immediate attention.

Trust Your Ankles to the Best

Healthy, strong ankles are critical to a high quality of life. Don’t suffer needlessly from ankle pain—trust your ankles to the best. The best time to seek treatment is immediately following an injury—don’t wait. Peace of mind will be yours after a thorough evaluation and the development of an individualized treatment plan by our highly qualified podiatrists. Enjoy the convenience of in-office imaging technology, and expect to leave our office with your questions answered. Some ankle fractures require surgical intervention; you can rest assured knowing that Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS and Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS are the Austin experts in foot and ankle surgery. Call our office today at (512) 328-8900.

Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS
Podiatric Physician, Surgeon, Specialist at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists