A broken ankle is the term that most physicians employ when discussing a fracture of the tibia or fibula. The tibia is the bone of the lower leg that is known to be the weight-bearing bone and is also more commonly called the shin. The fibula is is the bone that is found on the outside of the leg and is smaller then the tibia. These bones are both attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.
When a doctor is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is normally referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankle fractures are very common since they are occurring in an area that suffers a lot of weight bearing and therefore are more prone to suffering from fractures. If someone is suffering from a fractured ankle, then the following symptoms may be present.
- Painful when touched or when any weight is put on the affected joint
- Swelling around the area
- Colorful bruising of the area in question
- Collapse of the area when weight is applied to it
- Area in question appears to be deformed
An ankle fracture can occur in many different ways. If someone is morbidly obese, then just walking on the area can cause a fracture of the bone. If you are playing sports and your weight is distributed to the area while it is in the wrong position, a fracture can occur. Other ways that a fracture of the ankle can occur can include, but are not limited, to car accidents and falls.
If you suspect that you may have a fracture of an ankle, you must seek out appropriate medical care. A physician will look at the area in question and may request x-rays be taken for a clearer picture of the injury. Care of the broken ankle may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Many times a doctor will choose to splint the injured ankle and instruct you to utilize crutches in order to keep weight off of the injured area. If severely broken, surgery may be needed in order to realign the ankle and, in some circumstances, pins may be placed into the joint to allow it to heal better.
Prognosis of a broken ankle is normally good. The sooner your receive treatment the better. So if you suspect an ankle fracture, get help soon.