Your ankle is a pivotal joint in your body—literally. Ankles and wrists have joints that move on several planes—up and down and side to side, plus twisting and turning. An ankle fracture can mean several weeks or months off your feet, and lead to other complications down the road. We know how disruptive that can be to your life, so we want to share what happens with a broken ankle and what you could do to prevent it.
How It Happens
The joint is made up of three main bones—the ends of the two long bones in your lower leg (tibia and fibula) and the talus on which they rest. These are held in correct position by a network of ligaments—strong bands of tissue that connect them to each other and to other bones in the feet.
A fracture can happen in one or more of these bones when something heavy impacts the foot or it is jammed in a car accident. It can also happen in a fall (especially from some height), landing on an uneven surface, rolling or twisting it while playing sports, or even falling off your high heels.
Is It Broken or Sprained?
The two ankle injuries can have similar symptoms:
- You feel severe pain right away
- You can’t bear to stand on it
- There is swelling and puffiness
- Your skin turns black and blue
- Areas are tender when you press on them
If the joint is misshapen or looks different than the other ankle, it is more likely to be a dislocated fracture (where the bone breaks completely and the ends no longer line up properly). Sometimes a broken end can even protrude through the skin—leaving you in no doubt of what happened.
It is possible that the injury could be both: a broken bone plus a sprain (the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits or torn). It is also possible that the fracture is just a small crack on the surface, and you can still walk even though it hurts a bit. That doesn’t mean you should, however! All fractures need to heal properly to prevent future problems like ankle instability and arthritis in the joint.
Seek Professional Help for Ankle Injuries
The only way to know for sure what has happened to your ankle is to have it checked by a professional. Many people walk around for a week thinking it is “just a sprain,” only to find that they have made an ankle fracture even worse.
Aadvanced Foot Care Associates in Queens has a full staff of expert foot doctors with the training and technology to accurately diagnose your painful injury. Only then can we determine which treatment will be most beneficial.
Treatment can include conservative remedies like staying off and elevating the ankle, icing it to reduce swelling and pain, and using recommended pain relievers. However, serious breaks may need a cast or brace, surgery, or the use of crutches to keep all weight off the joint.
We can also educate you in ways to prevent such injuries by wearing the right shoes, strengthening the bones and muscles in your ankle, starting new training slowly to let your body adjust, and decluttering and lighting your home to prevent falls.
With so much on the line, you want to be sure you get help from the pros, which you will find at our offices in New York. Dial our Rego Park office at (718) 896-4433, the Plainview location at (516) 822-9595, and in Flushing at (718) 969-2266. You can also schedule online with our contact form.