Ankle fracture


Healthcare provider will conduct physical examination of the ankle to evaluate for any swelling or tenderness. The exact location of the pain could help the healthcare provider determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
The ankle range of motion will also be examined. Patient will be asked to walk a short distance to determine the gait. The following imaging test will be recommended if there is signs and symptoms of fracture.

  • X-rays: An X-ray can typically show an ankle fracture. In order to prevent excessive bone image overlap, the technician might need to take X-rays from a variety of angles. Until the break actually starts healing, stress fractures can go undetected on X-rays.
  • Computerized tomography (CT). The CT scan combines X-rays from numerous angles to create cross-sectional images of your body’s internal organs. CT scans can provide more information about the broken bone and the surrounding soft tissues.
  • Bone scan: can find fractures that are undetectable on X-rays. A technician will inject a tiny amount of radioactive substance into a vein. The bones, particularly the areas that have been injured, are drawn to the radioactive substance. On the generated image, damaged areas, including stress fractures, appear as bright patches.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  The ligaments that help hold the ankle together are shown in great detail by MRI using radio waves and a powerful magnetic field. With the aid of imaging, ligaments and bones can be viewed, and fractures that are not visible on X-rays can be found.


Treatment options for an ankle fracture is depended on the severity of the injury and which bone has been involved.

  • Medications: The physician might prescribe an over-the-counter analgesic like acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) for pain relief.
  • Physical therapy: Patient will probably need to relax tight muscles and ligaments in their ankles and feet after their bone has healed. Patient can learn exercises from a physical therapist to increase their strength, balance, and flexibility.
  • Surgical or other procedures:
    • Reduction: Healthcare provider might need to maneuver the parts back into their correct locations if they have a fracture that has been dislocated, meaning the two ends of the fracture are not perfectly aligned. This method is known as reduction. Patient could require a muscle relaxant, sedative, or local anesthetic to numb the area before this surgery, depending on how much pain and swelling you are experiencing.

Open reduction internal fixation surgery is used to treat ankle fractures (ORIF). The wounded ankle is opened up during ORIF, and the ends of your shattered bones are lined up. To maintain the stability of their ankle bones as the bones recover, they may also insert metal plates, wires, or screws.

    • Immobilization: In order for a fractured bone to heal, it must be immobilized. This typically necessitates the use of a cast or specialized boot.
    • Surgery:  An orthopedic surgeon might occasionally need to use pins, plates, or screws to keep their bones in the right alignment while they heal. If these materials are noticeable or uncomfortable, they may be removed once the fracture has healed.