An ankle fracture is a break of one or more of the bones of the ankle joint. The fracture can involve the lateral malleolus, medial malleolus, posterior malleolus, or a combination of those bones.
Mechanism of injury for an ankle fracture
As I discuss in much more detail in this video, an ankle fracture usually results from a traumatic event. A twisting injury playing sports, a fall, a motor vehicle accident and more can cause these injuries.
Signs and symptoms of an ankle fracture
Often this injury can seem like an ankle sprain, as it often occurs with the same mechanism of injury as a lateral ankle sprain. Often the initial pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight are worse, signifying a worse injury and possible fracture. X-rays are needed to rule out a fracture in all of these injuries.
Treatment of an ankle fracture
Often a fracture that is nondisplaced or minimally displaced (meaning that the bones line up appropriately) can be treated in a cast or walking boot without surgery. Surgical treatment often requires holding the fracture in place with screws or a plate and screws.
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