Ankle fractures are common foot injuries most often caused by your ankle rolling inward or outward. A fracture is a partial or complete break in a bone. Fractures in your ankle can range from the less serious avulsion injuries (small pieces of bone that have been pulled off) to severe shattering-type breaks of your tibia, fibula or both.
Certain medical conditions may make fracturing your ankle more likely. For example, osteoporosis increases the risk of fracture in many older adults. Motor vehicle accidents, tripping or falling, contact sports, and twisting your ankle are some of the more common sources of injury that can lead to an ankle fracture. Smokers and overweight people are more likely to fracture their ankle and have increased difficulty with healing.
It is important to have your ankle evaluated for proper diagnosis and treatment. You might mistake an ankle fracture for an ankle sprain, but they are quite different and require an accurate and early diagnosis.
Heel Bone Fractures
The heel bone is often compared to a hard-boiled egg due to its thin, hard covering on the outside and its soft, spongy bone on the inside. Once the outer shell is broken, the bone tends to collapse and become fragmented.
Contact a doctor immediately if you notice:
Treatment of ankle fractures depend on the type and severity of the injury. At first, you should follow the RICE protocol:
Rest: Stay off the injured ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
Compression: An elastic wrap should be used to control swelling.
Elevation: The ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Immobilization. Certain fractures are treated by protecting and restricting the ankle and foot in a cast or splint. This allows the bone to heal.
Prescription medications. To help relieve the pain, the surgeon may prescribe pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Foot and Ankle Fracture Repair (ORIF)
Ankle Fracture Repair, or Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), is a type of surgery used to stabilize and heal a broken bone.