Is My Ankle Sprained or Broken?

Is My Ankle Sprained or Broken?

Is My Ankle Sprained or Broken?

Comprised of tendons, ligaments, three bones, your ankle is a joint that many would describe as complex. The make-up of the ankle all functions as a single moving part to allow you mobility. It would only take a minor displacement in this complex system to result in pressure or even pain.

A lot of common activities that can result in both a sprain and a fracture are twisting, tripping, or falling. Basically, stress at an angle will cause these injuries to occur. But what is the difference? Basically, a sprain results more when the ligament takes damage. Fractures are when one or more of the three main bones are broken. These bones are the talus, fibula, and tibia.

Signs You Have a Broken Ankle

When you have an ankle fracture (broken ankle), you will likely see these signs:

  • Inability to apply and hold weight on your ankle (even after several hours or days)
  • Ankle Begins to Swell or Bruise Immediately
  • Deformity in the ankle
  • Upon Injury, moderate-to-severe pain will occur. This is sometimes Paired with numbness

Signs You Have an Ankle Sprain

A sprained ankle can show these signs:

  • Weight is bearable either immediately or after a rest period.
  • Pain is mild-to-moderate
  • Some swelling
  • Minor Bruising
  • Instability of Ankle

Knowing When to Seek Medical Attention

Obviously if you are experiencing unbearable pain, deformity, or inability to walk, you need medical attention. If your injury feels like a minor sprain, monitor it for a few days with ice and rest. If the ankle doesn't show any improvement, it would be wise to make an appointment with a doctor.

What Causes a Broken Ankle

The most common ways an ankle will suffer a break is when:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents- When a car is in an accident, the common crushing injury that occurs is known for breaking bones in your ankles, as well as other parts of you body.
  • Trips & Falls- Both tripping and falling are very common for sprains and breaks. You are also able to suffer similar injuries when landing on your feet after the slightest height.
  • Stepping Wrong- Sometimes it isn't an elaborate impact or accident that causes a break. A simple misstep can cause a twisting injury severe enough to break bone.

When it comes to treatments, it is dependent on the severity and site. While some fractures may only require rest and ice, some may result in serious surgery. A break could be bad enough that you have to have screws, rods, or even plates implanted into your ankle. This hardware will help maintain proper position during the healing process.

If you have suffered an injury or feel extreme pain and discomfort in your ankle, contact our orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary to schedule your appointment with our specialist today.