A broken ankle occurs when one or more of the three bones that make up the ankle is fractured. Aside from a broken bone, a patient diagnosed with a broken ankle might also suffer from injuries to the connecting tissues or ligaments in the ankle, as well as the two ankle joints. Since ankle sprains and other ankle injuries have causes and symptoms similar to those of a broken ankle, it is important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment of an ankle injury.

What Are Some Causes of a Broken Ankle?

  • Sports-related injury to the ankle
  • Falls and trips
  • Sudden twisting or rolling of the ankle
  • Car accident

What Are Symptoms of a Broken Ankle?

  • Swelling
  • Bruising of the ankle area
  • Acute, severe pain immediately at the onset of the injury
  • Tenderness and sensitivity to touch, along with an inability to endure weight on the ankle
  • Ankle deformity if the injury involves dislocation

How Is a Broken Ankle Treated?

  • Apply ice to the ankle area and elevate the affected lower leg to lessen swelling
  • Wear a leg cast or brace if the ankle is stable and no bones are out of place
  • Undergo surgery if the ankle is unstable, has torn ligaments,is dislocated, or has fragmented, loose bone
  • Healing is monitored by X-rays to check progress and to avoid complications
  • After the bone repairs, physical therapy, braces, and supports are part of continued treatment until the ankle is fully healed