It can be hard to tell the difference between a sprain and a broken ankle, but don’t waste time trying to figure it out. Both injuries, especially an ankle fracture, require prompt medical care to prevent future weakness and instability. As one of the few ankle trauma specialists in North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, and surrounding Los Angeles, CA area, The Foot and Ankle Sports Institute, provides comprehensive care, including conservative treatment, expert ankle surgery, and sport-specific rehabilitation. Request an online appointment or call our office today.
Your ankle joint includes three bones: the talus, which connects your leg to your foot, and the lower end of your two leg bones, the tibia (shinbone) and fibula (calf bone). All three bones commonly break due to:
Most ankle fractures occur during an athletic activity involving a rotational injury. In other words, you twist, turn, or roll your ankle while walking, running, or jumping. You can also suffer a broken ankle following a high-impact injury such as a fall or car accident.
Stress fractures frequently occur in runners and people who enjoy or compete in running sports such as basketball and soccer. When you frequently repeat the same activity, the repetitive stress causes a tiny crack in the bone.
Though stress fractures develop gradually, most people develop symptoms when they quickly increase their activity level or start a new activity that puts more stress on their ankle.
A fractured ankle can cause one or more of the following symptoms:
It’s important to pay attention to signs like pain, swelling, and bruising because you may be able to keep walking if you have only a mild fracture. If you keep going on a broken ankle, you put yourself at risk of developing chronic ankle instability.
Treatment for an ankle fracture focuses on reducing the swelling and immobilizing the bones so they can heal properly. The exact treatment you need depends on the severity of the fracture and the ankle’s stability.
If you have a simple, clean fracture and the two ends of the bone are in the proper position, Dr. Randall may apply a cast or give you a brace or walking boot. A more serious fracture requires surgery to realign the bones and stabilize them with screws and plates.
Dr. Randall may recommend platelet-rich plasma (PRP), either as an injection or applied during surgery. The concentrated platelets in PRP reduce inflammation and accelerate healing.
Whether or not you need surgery, Dr. Randall begins physical therapy and rehabilitation as soon as possible. This part of your treatment promotes healing, restores movement, and rebuilds strength. Athletes receive sport-specific training that prepares them to return to play.
If you need skilled care for an ankle fracture, call the offices of Dr. Martina Randall or book an appointment online today.