Ankle Fractures

Ankle injuries are the most common sports-related injury. An ankle fracture is a break in one or more bones that make up the ankle joint. Sometimes ligaments may also be damaged. Ankle fractures are most often caused by motor vehicle accident, rolling or twisting of ankle, and by tripping or falling. People participating in sports such as basketball, football, soccer and skiing are at a high risk of developing ankle fractures.

Common symptoms of an ankle fracture include pain and swelling around the ankle, bruising, tender to the touch, inability to walk on the leg, and deformity if the ankle is dislocated.

Following an ankle injury, it is important to have the ankle evaluated by Dr. Driscoll for proper diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is made based on the history of injury and a physical examination of the ankle. In addition, the surgeon may order X-ray of the ankle to determine the extent of the injury.

Treatment varies with the type and severity of the injury. Treatment of ankle fractures involves adequate rest, ice application, leg elevation, and medications to reduce pain. A short leg cast or a brace may be applied over the fractured ankle to provide support. If there is severe injury, excessive swelling or severe pain, you should seek immediate medical treatment.

Some ankle fractures are treated with a splint, which is placed on the ankle for a few days until the swelling subsides. Once the swelling decreases a cast or walking boot may be placed on the ankle to stabilize the broken bone and promote healing. Surgery may be needed to realign the bones before placing the splint. During surgery, Dr. Driscoll may place metal screws and a plate to hold the broken bone in position while it heals. In some cases, crutches may be used to protect the ankle.