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.
A single foot contains 26 bones, any of which can be linked to a source of discomfort. A bone injury can affect the shape, balance or function of the foot.
Bone Union Problem
A bone is “healed” when it is strong enough to allow for normal activities. A bone union problem is a bone that does not heal properly or is taking longer than expected.
Metatarsal and Toe Fractures
Fractures of the toe and metatarsal bones in your foot are common and breaks in the metatarsal bones may be caused by either stress or trauma.
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.
A sesamoid acts as a pulley to help a tendon flex and curl. A sesamoid injury affects the bone’s ability to provide leverage while walking and jumping.
A stress fracture is a small crack or severe bruising within a bone and is mostly caused by overuse and repetitive activities.
A wound is a physical injury to the body that bypasses the protective function of the skin and risks contamination and infection to the site of the trauma.
Contact a doctor immediately if you notice:
Bone protrusions occur when the broken end of the tibia (shinbone) has torn through the soft tissues and is protruding through the skin.
Bruises, or contusions, appear when the tiny blood vessels in the skin are damaged due to trauma. They are often visible by the discoloration they cause.
Deformities In The Affected Area
Foot deformities are a group of congenital and acquired conditions involving structural abnormalities that may affect the bones, tendons, and muscles of your foot.
Inflammation is a process by which the white blood cells, and substances they produce, protect us from an infection of foreign organisms, such as bacteria.
Heel pain is pain localized in the back of the foot. Heel pain may be due to numerous conditions, including a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation or, rarely, a cyst.
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.
Jones Fracture Repair
If you have a mild 5th metatarsal fracture (Jones Fracture), the repair is usually performed with a cast, splint, or a walking boot for six to eight weeks.