Broken Ankle

The ankle is a complex joint with multiple small bones and ligaments that work in harmony to facilitate movement. When one or more bones in the ankle is broken, it can be difficult – or impossible – to move around comfortably. Let’s review the causes and symptoms that are associated with broken ankles, and what treatments are used to address this common injury.

What Causes a Broken Ankle?

There are several factors that can lead to a broken ankle. Among the most common are falls, trips, and missteps that can occur while playing sports or simply walking around the house.

Broken Ankle Symptoms

An imaging test such as an X-ray or CT scan is typically required to confirm a diagnosis. Still, there are some tell-tale signs of an ankle bone fracture. These include:

  • Inability to put weight on the affected leg
  • Sudden, intense pain around the ankle or foot after an injury
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Discomfort that increases with activity
  • A noticeable ankle or foot deformity

Be sure to promptly consult with a physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

How is a Broken Ankle Treated?

Each patient’s broken ankle treatment will vary according to several factors, including the extent and specific location of the break, as well as the patient’s lifestyle. For example, a young athlete may require a different treatment approach than a senior. Generally speaking, many patients need physical therapy, or medication may be prescribed to loosen the tight ligaments around the ankle to reduce discomfort. Many patients need immobilization – either with or without surgery in a cast or removable boot – to allow the broken bones to heal back together. In many cases, surgery to correct bone positioning in the ankle or foot may be recommended.

Orthopaedic Specialists provides world-class care to patients in the Greater Pittsburgh who have broken ankles and other musculoskeletal conditions. To schedule an appointment with one of the board-certified and award-winning specialists on our team, contact us today.

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